Mackenzie McDonald stuns Rafael Nadal in second round of the 2023 Australian Open

Tennis: French Open
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On Wednesday at the 2023 Australian Open in Melbourne, there was a significant upset as Mackenzie McDonald of Piedmont, California, the 63rd ranked player in the world, upset the first ranked player in the men’s singles draw, and two-time Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal of Spain, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5.

There is no doubt Nadal was dealing with a hip injury which impacted his movement. According to the Indian Express, he has dealt with hip issues in the past, but has always been able to play with the proper treatment.

A major reason for McDonald’s success came down to his serve. He had 14 aces compared to six for Nadal. In the third round, McDonald will now face the 31st ranked player, Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan. Nishioka is 3-1 all-time against McDonald. Nishioka beat McDonald in five sets in the first round of the 2019 French Open, and in the second round of a tournament in Adelaide, Australia earlier this month.

This was the second time that McDonald and Nadal have faced each other. The one prior time was also at a major. Nadal steamrolled past McDonald 6-1, 6-0, 6-3 in the second round of the 2020 French Open. That win was zero surprise because Nadal is the King of Clay for a reason.

Sebastian Korda and Frances Tiafoe also in the third round

Sebastian Korda and Frances Tiafoe have joined McDonald in the third round of the 2023 Australian Open men’s draw. Korda, the 29th seed of Bradenton, Florida, beat Japanese qualifier Yosuke Watanuki in the second round, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4, after an impressive four-set win over Chile’s Cristian Garin in the first round. Tiafioe, of Hyattsville, Maryland, the 16th seed and reigning United States Open semifinalist, beat Chinese qualifier Shang Juncheng 6-4, 6-4, 6-1. Tiafoe and Korda next play Russians. Tiafoe will face the 18th seed Karen Khachanov, and Korda will face the seventh seed Daniil Medvedev, the 2021 United States Open champion.

 

 

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