Three-time Indian Wells champion Rafael Nadal reached the fourth round in the desert for the 13th time. Rafa narrowly survived the second round, overcoming a 5-2 deficit to Sebastian Korda in the deciding set and advancing.
Two days later, the Spaniard faced Daniel Evans in the third round and prevailed 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 43 minutes to stay in contention for the title. Nadal increases his record to 17 victories in 2022 and takes an important step by becoming the first player to have won 400 Masters 1000 victories!
Rafa beat Daniel in straight sets for the third time in as many encounters. He had 15 points more than his opponent and defended three of his four break chances to keep the pressure on.
The Briton took a 4-2 lead in the first set before the Spaniard equalized and won five of the last six games.
Nadal grabbed a break in the second set and held it until the end to advance to the knockout stages.
The 21-time Majors winner (at the time) built his advantage on short and medium rallies. He kept his composure after a slow start and moved into high gear to extend his remarkable winning streak.
The two players neutralized each other in the first games of the match to put their names on the scoreboard. Evans broke in game three after a forehand error from Nadal and won the next game on an unreturned serve to lead 3-1.
The Briton won game six after another loose forehand from his opponent, and the Spaniard stayed in the game with his serve minutes later.
Rafa broke again in game eight and held in the next with a service winner to take the lead. Daniel won the tenth game with a forehand winner and created a break point at 5-5 for a big chance.
Nadal saved her with a volley winner at the net and finished the game with a smash winner for 6-5. Evans made a forehand error in the twelfth game to hand his rival set points.
Nadal took advantage of the second after a double fault from Evans to make it 7-5 in 56 minutes.
Mbappe praises Nadal
French football superstar Kylian Mbappe is a huge admirer of Rafael Nadal, the man who won 14 French Open titles in Mbappe’s hometown of Paris, as well as his footballing home with Paris Saint-Germain.
He revealed that the Spaniard ‘fascinates’ him, hoping to get the chance to meet and chat with him. « It’s Nadal who really fascinates me. I haven’t had the opportunity (to meet him), but I would like to, » Mbappe said in an interview with France tv sport on the sidelines of the Paris Open. France 2017.