Rafael Nadal bowed his head during changeovers and rested his elbows on his knees, the very picture of resignation.
What was already a poor start to 2023, following a year marred by all manner of health issues, reached a low point at the Australian Open on Wednesday.
The defending champion and No. 1 seed at Melbourne Park, Nadal injured his left hip and lost to Mackenzie McDonald 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in the second round, abruptly ending his bid for a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam trophy.
“It’s a tough moment. It’s a tough day,” Nadal said. “I can’t say that I am not destroyed mentally at this moment, because I would be lying.”
BREAKING: Rafael Nadal knocked out in second round of Australian Open
— The Spectator Index (@spectatorindex) January 18, 2023
Most men’s career wins at the Australian Open (Open Era):
102 – Roger Federer
82 – Novak Djokovic
77 – Rafael Nadal
56 – Stefan Edberg
50 – ANDY MURRAY@andy_murray notches a milestone 50th win at the #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/fRUtV45AMY
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) January 17, 2023