Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open title defence is over after a second-round defeat by American Mackenzie McDonald in which he struggled with an injury.
The Spaniard, 36, was trailing by a set and a break when he pulled up with what appeared to be a hip problem.
He took a medical timeout towards the end of the second set and continued with the match, but ultimately slipped to a 6-4 6-3 7-5 defeat.
It is Nadal’s earliest exit at the Australian Open since 2016.
It was a cruel end for Nadal after his stunning 2022, where he came back from two sets down to beat Daniil Medvedev in last year’s final in Melbourne and won a record-extending 14th French Open crown in June.
However, a typically battling display in the Wimbledon quarter-finals led to him picking up an abdominal injury that hampered him for the rest of the season.