Rafael Nadal provides injury update
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 52485
Rafael Nadal experienced a Grade 2 iliopsoas injury in the Australian Open second round. Nadal injured his left leg in the second set's closing stages against Mackenzie McDonald in a 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 loss. After the initial checks in Melbourne, Rafa underwent more in Barcelona on Thursday and confirmed the results.
The Spaniard will follow the treatment and examine the progress in three weeks. Nadal will stay away from the court between six and eight weeks, missing Doha and Dubai and hoping to compete again in Indian Wells in March. A 22-time Major winner has played only 13 matches after the last year's Wimbledon, earning five wins and eight losses!
With the latest injury, Nadal will most likely drop out from the top-10 for the first time since April 2005 after defending 1100 points in Acapulco and Indian Wells! Rafa came to Melbourne without any form, struggling with an injury for months and experiencing another at Rod Laver Arena against McDonald.
Rafael Nadal will follow the treatment and go for more checks in three weeks.
The American toppled him in straight sets and delivered Nadal's worst Major result since 2016. Rafa was far from his A-game even before the injury.
McDonald played well and stayed focused against an injured rival to advance into the third round. The American produced five breaks from eight opportunities and lost serve only twice. The lower-ranked player made a flying start and broke the defending champion in the opener's games one and five for 4-1 in under 20 minutes.
Nadal reduced the deficit with a break in game six, and McDonald fended off a break point at 5-4 to bring the set home and gain momentum. The second set saw back-to-back breaks in the early stage, and Rafa squandered a game point at 3-3 and got broken.
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 to receive the treatment and held in game nine to prolong the set despite an apparent struggle.
McDonald brought the set home after Nadal's forehand error at 5-4 to drive closer to the finish line. Rafa continued and gave his best in the third set despite struggling to move or hit a backhand. He fired an ace on a break point at 4-4 and held to stay in contention.
Mackenzie leveled the score at 5-5 and placed a backhand down the line winner in the next one to grab a decisive break. The American landed a service winner in game 12 to seal the deal and dethrone the Spaniard. "Today, I have been at the Tecknon Tennis Clinic in Barcelona, where they have carried out some tests on me.
The Melbourne results are confirmed, and the deadlines remain the same. They established the treatments I have to follow, and they will perform new tests in three weeks to see the progress," Rafael Nadal said.