Australian Open 2023 Results: Instant Reactions to Wednesday's Winners and Losers
Rafael Nadal made a heartbreaking exit from the 2023 Australian Open on Wednesday.
The top-seeded player in the men's singles draw was affected by injuries in his straight-set loss to American Mackenzie McDonald.
Nadal injured his hip late in the second set inside Rod Laver Arena. He attempted to battle through the injury in the third set, but it was clear that he was not at 100 percent.
The Spaniard's loss means one of the young stars on the men's side will have a chance to take down Novak Djokovic in a potential final.
As for the women's singles draw, a number of seeded Americans progressed to the third round in the top half of the bracket.
Coco Gauff, Jessica Pegula, Madison Keys and Danielle Collins are all one win away from putting an American in at least half of the fourth-round matches.
Gauff's win over Emma Raducanu caught the most headlines. Raducanu marked her fifth straight Grand Slam elimination in the first or second round since winning the 2020 U.S. Open.
Mackenzie McDonald def. No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-4, 7-5
No. 3 Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Rinky Hijikata 6-3, 6-0, 6-2
No. 6 Felix Auger-Aliassime def. Alex Molcan 3-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
No. 7 Daniil Medvedev def. John Millman 7-5, 6-2, 6-2
No. 15 Jannik Sinner def. Tomas Etcheverry 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
No. 16 Frances Tiafoe def. Juncheng Shang 6-4, 6-4, 6-1
No. 18 Karen Khachanov def. Jason Kubler 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
No. 20 Denis Shapovalov def. Taro Daniel 6-3, 7-6 (3), 7-5
No. 28 Francisco Cerundolo def. Corentin Moutet 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 7-5
No. 29 Sebastian Korda def. Yosuke Watanuki 6-2, 7-5, 6-4
No. 31 Yoshihito Nishioka def. Dalibor Svrcina 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
Tallon Griekspoor def. No. 32 Botic van de Zandschulp 6-4, 6-4, 6-4
No. 1 Iga Swiatek def. Camila Osorio 6-2, 6-3
No. 3 Jessica Pegula def. Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-2, 7-6 (5)
No. 6 Maria Sakkari def. Diana Shnaider 3-6, 7-5, 6-3
No. 7 Coco Gauff def. Emma Raducanu 6-3, 7-6 (4)
No. 10 Madison Keys def. Xinyu Wang 6-3, 6-2
No. 13 Danielle Collins def. Karolina Muchova 6-7 (1), 6-2, 7-6 (6)
Anhelina Kalinina def. No. 15 Petra Kvitova 7-5, 6-4
No. 17 Jelena Ostapenko def. Anna Bondar 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-0
No. 20 Barbora Krejcikova def. Clara Burel 6-4, 6-1
No. 22 Elena Rybakina def. Kaja Juvan 6-2, 6-1
No. 24 Victoria Azarenka def. Nadia Podoroska 6-1, 6-0
Bernarda Pera def. No. 29 Qinwen Zheng 6-4, 6-4
Lin Zhu def. No. 32 Jill Teichmann 6-2, 6-2
Rafael Nadal Exits with Injury
Rafael Nadal's Australian Open ended earlier than anyone would have predicted because of an injury suffered in the second set against Mackenzie McDonald.
Nadal reached for a return late in the second set, and that triggered an injury that required him to leave the court to receive treatment.
The Spaniard returned for the rest of the match, but he was clearly not at 100 percent as he fell in straight sets to McDonald, who has not advanced past the fourth round at any Grand Slam tournament.
The exit has to be heartbreaking because it is the second time in three majors that he has been affected by an injury. He withdrew from Wimbledon last year because of an abdominal issue.
Nadal's exit significantly increases the chances of other top seeds reaching the final from the top half of the men's singles bracket.
American Frances Tiafoe is the highest seed left in Nadal's portion of the draw. Tiafoe beat Nadal at the 2022 U.S. Open and is playing the best tennis of his career.
Tiafoe could all of a sudden be the best American male hope to make a deep run in Melbourne. He could still need to deal with Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second week of the tournament to reach the final.
Tsitsipas could be looked at as the favorite to reach the final from the top half.
The third-seeded Greek has not lost a set yet in Australia, and he reached the semifinal in three of the last four Australian Opens.
Tsitsipas has been to one Grand Slam final in his career. A trip to the Australian Open final and a potential matchup with Novak Djokovic would be a huge breakthrough for him.
Medvedev is another one to watch in the top half. He looked strong in his first two matches and was the runner-up in Australia in the last two years.
Coco Gauff Downs Emma Raducanu, Leads American Charge
Coco Gauff won the battle of heralded young players against Emma Raducanu.
The trajectories of both players' careers have gone in different directions over the last two years.
Raducanu has not won more than one match at a Grand Slam since her triumph in New York in 2020.
Gauff was the French Open runner-up last year and advanced to a pair of quarterfinals in the last two years.
Gauff's Wednesday win moved her one victory from tying her career-best finish in Australia. She made it to the fourth round in 2020.
Gauff is one of the many American title hopefuls already in the third round.
Jessica Pegula has won three of her four sets by four or more games. She is a two-time quarter finalist in Australia and is in some of the best form of any women's tennis player.
Madison Keys cruised to a second-round win on Wednesday. She needed a quick match to rest up for a challenging road ahead. Keys faces Victoria Azarenka in the third round and then could take on Maria Sakkari in the fourth round.
Danielle Collins needed three sets to advance to the third round. She has one more match to tune up before taking on top seed Iga Swiatek.
The 2022 Australian Open runner-up takes on Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina next to earn a shot at Swiatek.
If the draw plays out in a certain way, three straight Americans could face Swiatek in the fourth round, quarterfinals and semifinals.
Swiatek has looked untouchable so far in Australia in a pair of straight-set victories.