Rafael Nadal entered the Australian Open 2023 as the defending champion and as the No. 1 seed.
But his time in Melbourne quickly came to an end, injuring his hip and losing to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round.
Nadal, who could miss six to eight weeks after an MRI revealed a grade 2 injury to his left hip flexor, posted a message to his fans on Wednesday.
RAFAEL NADAL ON BIZARRE MOMENT DURING AUSTRALIAN OPEN: ‘THE BALL BOY TOOK MY RACKET’
“It’s not the result I wanted, I would have loved to continue my career here, but today it wasn’t possible,” Nadal posted on Instagram. “Mackenzie played at a high level and I wish him the best for the rest of the tournament.
“It is always a pleasure to play in Australia. Thank you all very much for the support and the great moments that you make me live here.
“Sad to be leaving this great tournament so soon and so grateful once again to everyone, fans, organizers, amazing crowds… Thank you Melbourne, Australia.”
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Nadal was stopped in the second set against McDonald and left the court for medical treatment before returning. The 36-year-old was clearly limping and lost in three sets.
“It’s a difficult moment. It’s a difficult day,” Nadal said. “I can’t say I’m not mentally destroyed right now, because I’d be lying.”
It is the second time in three Grand Slam tournaments that he has suffered an injury. impacted on Nadal’s final result.
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At Wimbledon over the summer, Nadal was forced to withdraw from his semifinal match against Nick Kyrgios due to abdominal distension.
“Sometimes it’s frustrating. Sometimes it’s hard to accept,” Nadal said after his Australian Open loss. “Sometimes you feel super tired from all this, in terms of injuries.”
Associated Press contributed to this report