Rafael Nadal opens up: ‘I feel mentally destroyed’


As was expected, Rafael Nadal felt mentally destroyed following terrible luck at the Australian Open! A 21-time Major winner experienced a 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 loss to Mackenzie McDonald in the Australian Open second round, losing the title and 2000 ATP points. Nadal struggled to play his best tennis and injured his left hip in the second set closing stages. Rafa kept fighting, refusing to surrender and giving his everything in the third set before Mackenzie broke him in the closing stages to emerge at the top. Nadal struggled with his movement and sprayed too many unforced errors in his earliest Major loss in years. McDonald fired 14 aces and kept the points on his racquet following bold and aggressive tennis. The American stood strong in the shortest range up to four strokes and broke the Spaniard five times from eight opportunities.

Rafa earned only two breaks and needed more to achieve a better result. McDonald grabbed a break in the encounter’s first game and forced Nadal’s error at 3-1 to earn another return game and extend the advantage. Rafa pulled one break back in game six, but it was not enough to make him a contender. McDonald served well and saved a break point at 5-4 to wrap up the opener in 46 minutes. We saw back-to-back breaks at the start of the second set, and Mackenzie served better in the remaining ones. Nadal squandered a game point at 3-3 and missed a half-volley to drop serve and fall behind.

Rafael Nadal experienced a hip injury against Mackenzie McDonald. 

The American landed an ace in the eighth game to confirm the advantage, and the Spaniard asked for a medical timeout on his left hip. Rafa left the court and held in game nine once he returned to prolong the set. McDonald held at 30 in game ten after Nadal’s tired forehand to wrap up the set and move closer to the finish line after an hour and 49 minutes. Rafa continued and gave his best in the third set, fighting like a true champion. He fired an ace on a break point at 4-4 and held for more drama. Mackenzie leveled the score at 5-5 and placed a backhand down the line winner in the next for a decisive break. The American served for the victory in game 12 and fired a service winner to emerge at the top and celebrate a career-best triumph. 

“Sometimes it’s frustrating and difficult to accept. Sometimes you feel super tired about all this stuff in terms of injuries. I can not say that life is fantastic or something about staying positive and fighting; not now. It’s a tough day, and I must wait for tomorrow to gather some positive vibes. I can not complain about my life. Injuries and challenging moments are different things, and I’m mentally destroyed. It’s hard for me, but let’s hope it’s nothing bad. I had three positive weeks on the practice court, and I wish to return to competing quickly. I hope to hit the court again soon and avoid another lengthy recovery, as you need a lot of work to get back to a decent level. I went through this process too many times in my career, and I’m ready to keep going. However, that’s not easy, without a doubt,” Rafael Nadal said.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login