Rafael Nadal brilliantly passed the third round of Indian Wells managing to beat Daniel Evans 7-5 6-3 in two sets and risking much less than in the previous match against Sebastian Korda. In his match in the Californian tournament, in fact, the twenty-one-time slam winner had the best of the American only at the tie break of the third set, recovering from the 2-5 disadvantage.
Thanks to the first two successes in the first 1000 of the season, which the Spaniard has already won on three occasions in 2007, 2009 and 2013, Nadal has extended his streak of consecutive victories at the beginning of the season to 17.
A considerable number, as the Manacor player reached, on the lowest step of the podium, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer who had managed to obtain the same number of victories in 1997 and 2018 respectively. Rafael Nadal in the round of 16 will meet a tough opponent on this surface such as Reilly Opelka.
The American giant has returned from a battle that lasted more than 2 hours against Denis Shapovalov where he managed to take home the victory in the third set by scoring 11 aces and having a percentage of victories on first balls fielded equal to 74% .
Rafa Nadal is now aiming for Novak Djokovic's second position
In the event that the Majorcan were to overtake the American as well, he would detach the Sampras-Federer duo and officially begin his run towards the second position which is currently occupied by Novak Djokovic in the 2020 version, the year in which he obtained 26 consecutive victories.
Still far away and unrealistic at the moment to try to scratch the first position, always occupied by the Serbian champion. The 35-year-old from Belgrade, in fact, managed to conquer 41 victories in a row 11 years ago. A record that began with the Australian Open and ended, after seven consecutive home tournaments, in the semifinals at Roland Garros when he was beaten by Roger Federer in four sets.
But not only that, in case of success in Indian Wells, the Spaniard could grab Djokovic for 1000 masters won. At the moment the Serbian champion is in the lead, 37 to 36, who will again be number one in the ATP world ranking from next Monday.