MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A clearly hurting Rafael Nadal lost his second-round match at the Australian Open to Mackenzie McDonald 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 on Wednesday, abruptly ending his title defense and bid for a record-extending 23rd Grand Slam trophy.
It was not immediately clear what was bothering the 35-year-old Spaniard, but he pulled up awkwardly at the end of a point late in the second set against the 65th-ranked McDonald.
The No. 1-seeded Nadal was visited by a trainer on the sideline, then left the court for a medical timeout. Up in the stands, his wife wiped away tears. Nadal returned to play, but was physically compromised and not his usual chase-every-ball self.
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