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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Defending champion Nadal out at Australian Open

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The Spaniard lost to Mackenzie McDonald 4:6.4:6.5:7. The American dominated Nadal in the opening set, in the second round the favorite suffered a serious hip injury with a long step. After that, the Grand Slam record winner more or less only dragged himself to the match point. The game was over after 2:32 hours.

Nadal had seemed frustrated even before his injury. He scolded the chair umpire, on the bench he hit his racket with his hand after a break. Injured, he hobbled to the bench with a pained face, where he had a brief treatment in the upper area of ​​his left leg. He then disappeared into the dressing room for a medical break. Wife Maria Francisca Perello had tears in her eyes. The disappointing end was foreseeable.

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Nadal didn’t give up and won his service game straight away to make it 4: 5 – but his movements weren’t smooth at all. Opponent McDonald seemed overwhelmed by the situation, there was a break in his previously strong game. But he recovered and advanced to the third round. For Nadal, it’s the earliest out at this major since 2016. Nadal lost seven of his recent nine singles. The last time he had such a meager yield was at the age of 17 at the end of 2003/beginning of 2004.

Swiatek further

The now 36-year-old even had to give up due to injury at the Grand Slam tournament in Wimbledon six months ago. At that time he did not compete in the semifinals against Australian Nick Kyrgios due to a torn abdominal muscle. Nadal has also been suffering from chronic foot pain for years, which is why, according to his own statements, he had already thought about retiring not too long ago.

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In the first games of the day, top seed Iga Swiatek defeated Colombian Camila Osorio 6:2,6:3. With Jessica Pegula and Maria Sakkari, the numbers three and six of the tournament did not show any weakness either. The American won against the Belarusian Aliaksandra Sasnowitsch 6:2.7:6(5), the Greek Sakkari against the Russian Diana Shnaider 3:6.7:5.6:3. The Czech Petra Kvitova, on the other hand, was eliminated.

The 5:7,4:6 of the two-time Wimbledon winner, classified as number 15, against the Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina was the last women’s result on the third day of the tournament for a long time. Because on the outdoor courts the game should only be played after more than six and a half hours around 5.30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. CET) will gradually be included. Rain at only around 16 degrees did not allow any matches on the free courts. A few first-round games still have to be played, as that wasn’t possible the day before because of the heat and then also because of the rain.

Pegula supported Damar Hamlin

Swiatek was 4-0 up against Osorio when the South American suddenly put a lot more pressure on the title favorite. “It was really intense physically,” Swiatek said after the climb. “Camila ran after every ball, she didn’t give me many free points.” Sakkari was actually in trouble, against the 18-year-old Russian Shnaider the Hellenin only managed to win after more than two and a half hours after falling behind in a set. “She should give up her college life and go pro,” Sakkari advised her opponent in an interview.

Pegula played with a number 3 on her t-shirt to show her support for Damar Hamlin. The Buffalo Bills football pro suffered cardiac arrest in an NFL game on Jan. 2, but the defense attorney is on the mend and left the hospital a week ago. Pegula’s parents Terry and Kim are the owners of the Buffalo Bills. “He (Hamlin, note) has recovered, that’s great to see,” said her daughter happily.

The Italian Jannik Sinner (No. 15) showed no weaknesses with a 6:3,6:2,6:2 against the Argentinian Tomas Martin Etcheverry. Sinner has already reached the quarterfinals of all Grand Slams, but no more. Later, the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime (6) also advanced, but against the Slovakian Alex Molcan only after two sets behind with 3: The Austrians Alexander Erler/Lucas Miedler, among others, were in the doubles queue due to the weather before their Grand Slam debut. They meet Rohan Bopanna/Matthew Ebden (IND/AUS-10).

A speedster used the long rain break to make an appearance. The man took off his clothes except for his underpants, socks and shoes and ran a lap of honor on the wet square 7 with outstretched arms. He stopped at the umpire’s chair and climbed up. When a steward came running, the speedster got off quickly and gave the thumbs up. He then climbed over the gang back into the spectator area.

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Source: Nachrichten

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