| By New York Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo Credit: Mike Lawrence/USTA

 

Mackenzie McDonald scored the biggest win of his career on Wednesday as the American ousted an injured Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in the second round of the Australian Open.

"I'm really happy with how I started that match," McDonald said. "I thought I was playing really well, serving great, returning well too. I was really taking it to him."

Nadal felt a sharp pain in his hip in the middle of the first set and didn’t look the same from that point on. He left the court to see the trainer towards the end of the first set, and while he wasn’t 100 percent, Nadal gutted out the rest of the match.

McDonald took advantage of that, and continued to take it to Nadal. He fired 42 winners and broke Nadal five times to advance in straight sets and knock out the defending champion.

"It was actually pretty tough to stay mentally engaged a little bit there, but I found a way to just pull it out, so I'm happy," said McDonald. "He's an incredible champion. He's never going to give up, regardless of the situation. Closing it out against a top guy like that is always tough. I was trying to stay so focused on what I was doing, and he kind of got me out of the rhythm with that. I'm happy I just kept focusing on myself in the end and got through, I got it done." 

McDonald moves on to play 31st seeded Yoshito Nishioka, who defeated Dalibor Svrcina in straight sets in his second-round contest on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, seventh-seeded American Coco Gauff defeated former U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu 6-3, 7-6(4) to book her spot in the third-round and into a showdown with fellow American Bernarda Pera.

Last year’s finalist, Danielle Collins, outlasted Karolina Muchova in a third-set tiebreaker; the 13th seeded Collins will face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina next.

Jessica Pegula and Madison Keys continued the American charge into the third-round as they each won their respective matches. Top-seed Iga Swiatek was a straight-sets winner as well.

On the men’s side, third-seed Stefanos Tsistipas, sixth-seed Felix Auger-Aliassime and seventh-seed Daniil Medvedev moved through. Americans Frances Tiafoe, Sebastian Korda, Max Cressy, Michael Mmoh, Denis Kudla and Brandon Holt all advanced.