Rafa Nadal crashed out of the Australian Open after suffering a hip injury — and this second-round exit left his wife in tears.
The 2022 singles champion was defeated 6-4 6-4 7-5 in more than two-and-a-half hours by American journeyman Mackenzie McDonald as he relinquished the crown he won in memorable scenes 12 months ago.
Rafa Nadal injured his hip in the closing stages of the second set after hitting a winnerCredit: Getty
The 36-year-old hurt himself after hitting a shot in the first point of the eighth game of the second set on the Rod Laver Arena.
He was seen wincing as he collected his towel and at one point, went down on his haunches due to the pain.
Nadal called for a physio, who began massaging his left hip area, and then he headed backstage for a medial timeout where it is believed he had some form of pain medication.
Though he managed to hold his serve in the next game, McDonald successfully served for a two-nil sets lead.
It was at this point, Nadal’s wife Xisca Perello was seen on TV with tears streaming down her face as her husband was physically struggling.
During the changeover before the start of the third set, the Spaniard sat on his chair in a subdued mood and did not go through his normal superstitious routine of fiddling with his water bottles and towels.