Rafael Nadal’s wife Maria Francisca Perello is in tears after the Spaniard’s injury in the Australian Open defeat

Rafael Nadal’s 2023 Australian Open title defense came to a premature end on Wednesday as the Spaniard lost the first set to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion also paused in the second set, trailing 3-4 against the American as things went from bad to worse for the Mallorcan. The 36-year-old attempted to reach a forehand the American had smashed over the line and sat on his haunches, holding his stomach and scaring fans that he might be rekindling an old injury.

From 15-30, the world No. 2 ghosted through the remaining two points to fall at 3-5, ready to get back in his seat as quickly as possible. Nadal made the weary walk back to his position and sat with his head bowed, agony evident in his stance. The on-pitch physio was called in to help the former world No. 1, after which he took a long medical break from the pitch.

The southpaw’s box, which hosted the likes of his coach Carlos Moya and his wife Maria Francisca Perello, seemed understandably concerned as his wife wept for the Spaniard after seeing him suffer again. A video clip shot behind her in the stands also shows one of Perello’s friends giving her a tissue to wipe her tears.

It’s so hard to see Rafa grimacing and suffering 💔I think Mery got tears in her eyes too 😪Maribel comforted her 💕Just heartbreaking all this damn happiness.💔

Nadal eventually returned to the action but failed to hold the set, losing it 4-6. In the third set, on the other hand, the 22-time Grand Slam champion was on the verge of losing to McDonald to go 6-5 for the pitch match. From there, the American made no mistake and served it up to inflict a painful defeat on the defending champions.

Rafael Nadal previously lost his temper at the chair referee

Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open 2023
Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open 2023

Rafael Nadal’s second-round clash against Mackenzie McDonald wasn’t without incident as the Spaniard previously chafed at the chair umpire over towel placement at Rod Laver Arena.

Due to the enormous dimensions of the show courts at the Australian Open, the 36-year-old felt that the towels were too far away from him and that he didn’t have enough time for his lengthy serving routine. The Mallorcan vividly explained it to the chair umpire, claiming that the clock always rushed him and that it always did in his games.

Regardless, the referee remained amused and did not explain further. The Spaniard defended 2,000 ranking points at Melbourne Park and the early 4-6, 4-6, 5-7 defeat will see him tumble down the rankings.

Rafael Nadal’s outfit for the Australian Open 2023 uncovered

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https://www.sportskeeda.com/tennis/news-watch-rafael-nadal-s-wife-maria-francisca-perello-gets-teary-eyed-spaniard-s-injury-australian-open-loss?utm_source=feed&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=sportskeeda Rafael Nadal’s wife Maria Francisca Perello is in tears after the Spaniard’s injury in the Australian Open defeat

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