January 18, (THEWILL) – In a worrying turn of events at the Australian Open, defending champion, Rafael Nadal, was forced to retire mid-match, due to a hip injury during his second round match against Mackenzie McDonald.
As THEWILL reported, Nadal, who was trailing 6-4 5-3 when he pulled up with the injury, immediately called for the trainer and took a medical timeout. Despite the injury, Nadal returned to the court and fought valiantly, but ultimately was not fit enough to force a fourth set, with McDonald winning the match 6-4 6-4 7-5.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Nadal said that he did not wish to retire midway through the match, as the defending champion. “Being the defending champion, I did not want to retire here. Just try your best till the end no matter the chances, that is the philosophy of the sport,” he said. Nadal also revealed that the injury was in his hip and that it had been an issue for him for “a couple of days.”
Despite the disappointment of the loss, Nadal praised McDonald for his performance, saying “Mackenzie was playing at a great level of tennis. I was fighting but he was doing well and I was not doing that well.” For McDonald, the victory was his first over ‘The Big Four’ in his career.
Nadal’s injury and subsequent retirement has raised questions about his future in the sport and whether he will be able to recover in time for the upcoming tournaments. Fans and fellow players alike have expressed their disappointment and concern for Nadal’s health and wish him a speedy recovery.