Rafael Nadal, the defending champion, will take on Mackenzie McDonald on Wednesday in the second round of the 2023 Australian Open.
In the opening round, Nadal began the defence of his championship against Jack Draper. Throughout the first set, both players’ serves were generally reliable. At 6-5 in the set, Draper served to tie the match, but Nadal ramped up the heat to break his serve and win the match. In the second set, the young British player completely changed the scenario as he jumped out to a 4-0 lead and held it to win the match. Draper rallied to tie the score at 4-4, but Nadal prevailed by winning the following several games to take the set. The Spaniard was broken to begin the fourth set, but he quickly recovered to win the set 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, and the match in six sets.
Meanwhile, McDonald’s opening opponent was fellow countryman Brandon Nakashima. The former established a commanding lead by winning the first two sets in tiebreakers. Nakashima won the third set, dropping just one game in the process to maintain his position in the match. He saved a few match points before winning the tie-break in the fourth set to force a deciding set. With a 2-0 lead to begin the fifth set, McDonald stopped his opponent’s momentum, but Nakashima quickly regained the initiative. The 27-year-old made one last effort as he won the final three games in a row to clinch the match 7-6 (5), 7-6 (1), 1-6, 6-7 (10), 6-4. Things became very intense.
Nadal vs McDonald Match Details
Tournament: Australian Open
Date: January 18
Venue: Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia
Round: First round
Category: Men’s Singles
Prize Money: A$76,500,000
Nadal vs McDonald Head-to-Head Record
McDonald is down 1-0 against Nadal in their matchup. At the 2020 French Open, he defeated them in straight sets.
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Nadal vs McDonald Prediction
Although the American is a reliable player who utilises his resources to the fullest, higher-ranked players aren’t particularly bothered by his style of play. McDonald’s 1-13 record versus top-10 players, with just one top-10 victory, doesn’t augur well for his prospects against the Spaniard. Even if Nadal isn’t at his best, his championship defence is probably going to continue.
Prediction: Nadal to win in 4
Nadal Last three performances
- Australian Open: First round- b. Draper 7-5, 2-6, 6-4, 6-1
- ATP World Tour Finals: Group stage- b. Ruud 7-5, 7-5
- ATP World Tour Finals: Group stage- l. Auger-Aliassime 6-3, 6-4
McDonald Last three performances
- Australian Open: First round- b. Nakashima 7-6(5), 7-6(1), 1-6, 6-7(10), 6-4
- Adelaide International 2: Second round- l. Ymer 6-3, 6-7(2), 3-6
- Adelaide International 2: First round- b. Evans 7-5, 7-5
Broadcast and Live Stream Details
- US – Tennis Channel
- UK – Tennis TV (live streaming)
- Australia – beIN Sports
- Canada – TSN
- India – Discovery/ Tennis TV
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