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Sports World Reacts To Rafael Nadal's Upset Loss

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It was a short stay at the 2023 Australian Open for defending champion and No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal.

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Nadal, who was battling a hip injury, fell to American Mackenzie McDonald 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in the second round of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Wednesday. 

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"It's a tough moment. It's a tough day," said Nadal, who posted his earliest exit from a Grand Slam tournament in seven years. "I can't say that I am not destroyed mentally at this moment, because I would be lying."

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The 36-year-old Nadal's loss has left many in the tennis world discussing his future. 

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"The 2022 champion leaves the Australian Open to a standing ovation. Let's hope it's not the last time we see Rafa Nadal on Rod Laver Arena," said Eurosport on Twitter.

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"Last night was Nadal’s 'I’m old, I’m hurt, I’ve won a lot and I don’t need this s--t anymore' match," said USA TODAY's Dan Wolken. "He was getting outplayed before the injury and had none of the typical Nadal fight after. Congrats to Mackie McDonald on the biggest win of his career."

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"The #AusOpen has often been a painful place for Nadal: 2011 injured in QF 2014 injured in final 2018 injured in SF. Three other final losses," said The Tennis Podcast. "He defied all of that in 2022 which is what made it so special. A miracle. But it hurts again in 2023."

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"Rafael Nadal says he tried to the end but it was 'impossible,'" shared Irish sports journalist Catherine Murphy. "Doesn’t know extent of hip injury. He said he wasn’t able to hit his backhand or run but he wanted to finish the match. Says he didn’t want to retire as a defending champion. All class. Always."

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Nadal is still the No. 2 ranked men's player in the world, but his recent injury history leaves some doubts about what comes next. Hopefully he has some more championship level tennis left in the tank.