The early elimination at the Australian Open, where he defended the title he won last year, will make the Spanish Rafael Nadal suffer a drop in the ranking. When he falls in the second round, beaten by the American Mackenzie McDonald in straight sets, he will fall out of the top 5 in the next ATP list.
Currently occupying the vice-leadership in the ranking, Rafa will lose at least four places, dropping to sixth place. He still has the imminent threats of the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime and the American Taylor Fritz, who are not far away and can overtake him with good campaigns.
With Wednesday’s defeat, the Spaniard became the first No. 1 seed to fall out of the second round since Gustavo Kuerten in 2001. In 18 appearances at the tournament, he has only failed to make it past the second round twice, this time in 2016 , when he was surprised by compatriot Fernando Verdasco in his debut.
Nadal also sees a very different start to the 2023 season than last year. In 2022, in addition to starting with the title at Melbourne Park, he maintained an unbeaten run of 20 games, losing the first only in the final of the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells. Already this season, the Spaniard won only one of the four games he played.