No excuses from Nadal after crashing out down under

By Razeen Gutta

Rafael Nadal suffered an injury which led to a second round exit from the Australian Open where he lost by straight sets to American Mackenzie McDonald. 

The 21-time Grand Slam winner injured his left hip late on in the second set, which he went on to lose 6-4 as he had lost the first set. 

There was no gas left in the tank to mount a comeback, with McDonald putting up a good performance to tower over the Spaniard, who was clearly struggling with the injury. 

The third set finished 7-5 and it was game, set and match to put an end to any hopes Nadal may have had of a title defence this year. 

Despite saying he felt “destroyed mentally”, he did his best to present a positive outlook on the situation going forward. 

“I mean, hopefully it’s nothing too bad. In the end it’s been three positive weeks in terms of practice. I hope this doesn’t put me out for a long time, because then it’s tough to make all the recovery again,” he said post-match. 

“In the end, I can’t complain about my life at all, so just in terms of sports, injuries and tough moments, I mean, that’s another one. I just can’t say I am not destroyed mentally at this time, because I will be lying.”

When asked if things may have been different had the injury not come when it did, he made his feelings clear: “I don’t like the word ‘if’ in sport or in life,” he said. 

“It’s a very simple thing: I like what I do. I like playing tennis. I know it’s not forever. I like to feel competitive. I like to fight for the things that I have been fighting for almost half of my life or even more.” 

Pictured above: Rafael Nadal 

Image source: @AJE_Sport 

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