Australian Open: Nadal, defending champion, eliminated in the 2nd round

Australian Open: Nadal, defending champion, eliminated in the 2nd round

The Spaniard Rafael Nadal, defending champion but victim of hip pain, was eliminated in the second round of the Australian Open by the American Mackenzie McDonald (65th) 6-4, 6-4, 7- 5, Wednesday in Melbourne.

In the second set, after a run, Nadal suddenly winced as he held his left hip. At the change of sides at 5-3 for his opponent, he called the physiotherapist on the court. Then he left the court to receive treatment.

Refusing to give up, the world No.2 resumed the game but it had become almost impossible for him to move. In the third set he won his service games until he conceded a break to allow McDonald to lead 6-5 and serve for the match.

In the first round against Briton Jack Draper, the Mallorcan won his first game of the season, after two defeats in the United Cup in early January.

Since he arrived on the professional circuit in 2001, Nadal had so far dropped out only five times in Grand Slams, the last time at Wimbledon last year.

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