Rafael Nadal out until April… FIVE things you might have missed from the Australian Open

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Rafael Nadal out until April after hip injury in second round loss, Dan Evans sees off Jeremy Chady after a bizarre ball dispute and Ben Shelton makes an impact on his first trip outside the US… FIVE things you might have missed from the Australian Open

  • Rafael Nadal injured his  hip in his second round loss to Mackenzie McDonald 
  • Dan Evans’ win over Jeremy Chardy saw a bizarre dispute over a dropped ball
  • Ben Shelton had never left the USA before reaching the start of the competition
  • Casper Ruud’s exit meant the top two men’s seeds exited before the third round 
  • READ: Angry Novak Djokovic reveals what REALLY happened in break in play 

The Australian Open has continued at pace, with several big names falling early already including the reigning men’s singles champion Rafael Nadal. 

Nadal’s exit was the big story from Wednesday and it has been confirmed that the Spaniard suffered a grade 2 injury to a hip flexor muscle, and he will be out until the early clay court season as a result. 

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Sportsmail looks at the five things you might have missed overnight from Day Four of the competition. 

The Australian Open has already seen several weather issues, from extreme heat to heavy rain

Nadal is out until April at the earliest 

Rafael Nadal stayed on in Melbourne following his defeat against Mackenzie McDonald on Wednesday to assess the physical damage he sustained. 

The 36 year-old Spaniard had an MRI scan which showed a grade 2 injury to a muscle in his left hip flexor. 

That is likely to mean anti-inflammatory treatment and rest, with a recovery time of six to eight weeks. That probably means the next time he will be seen is at the start of the European clay court season in April, all being well.

Rafael Nadal will be out until at least the beginning of the clay court season with a hip injury

Rafael Nadal will be out until at least the beginning of the clay court season with a hip injury

Dan Evans through after ball dispute 

Dan Evans became the second British man through to the third round when he eased past Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4 6-4 6-1 in more windy weather affecting Melbourne. 

He will now meet number five seed Andrey Rublev of Russia. There was a delay in the first when a lengthy dispute ensued over a ball dropping from Chardy’s pocket during a rally. 

See also  Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev secure Davis Cup glory for the Russian Tennis Federation

Evans won the point anyway, but his view is that a ball dropping from the pocket should mean the culprit losing the point automatically.

Dan Evans won a point after a ball fell out of Jeremy Chardy's pocket but the Brit believed it should have been an automatic win anyway

Dan Evans won a point after a ball fell out of Jeremy Chardy’s pocket but the Brit believed it should have been an automatic win anyway

Shelton’s first trip outside the USA continues 

Ben Shelton, just 20, made it into the third round on what is his debut appearance in Melbourne when he defeated Chile’s Nicolas Jarry 7-6 7-6 7-5. 

What is unusual about the young American in this highly international sport is that this trip to New Zealand and Australia is the first time he has ever travelled outside the United States.

He is the son of former US player Bryan Shelton, and after a brief but stellar college career has now quit the University of Florida.

Ben Shelton's trop to New Zealand and Australia is his first ever venture outside the United States

Ben Shelton’s trop to New Zealand and Australia is his first ever venture outside the United States

Ruud completes historic exits for top two seeds 

Second seed Casper Ruud of Norway was upset 6-3 7-5 6-7 6-2 by American Jenson Brooksby, making it the first time in 21 years that both the top two seeds in the men’s event have gone out before the third round. 

See also  Frances Tiafoe is living the American dream after knocking out Rafael Nadal at US Open

Ruud is yet another character featuring in the new Netflix Break point series who has met an early end in Melbourne. 

However it might have more to do with the fact that he played too many lucrative exhibition matches around the world in the off-season, rather than resting up and honing his game.

Casper Ruud's exit to Jenson Brooksby ensured the first two seeds went out ahead of the third round for the first time in 21 years

Casper Ruud’s exit to Jenson Brooksby ensured the first two seeds went out ahead of the third round for the first time in 21 years

Strong start for Brits in the doubles 

GB has a strong representation in the men’s doubles, with a strong start seeing four pairs in which British players feature going through to the second round, including relative newcomers Julian Cash and Henry Patten. 

Liverpool’s Neal Skupski is number one seed alongside Dutch partner Wesley Koolhof and they beat Alexander Bublik and John-Patrick Smith 6-1 6-2.

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