A three-time Indian Wells champion Rafael Nadal is through into the fourth round in the desert for the 13th time in a career. Two days after overcoming a 5-2 deficit in the decider against Sebastian Korda, Rafa took down Daniel Evans 7-5, 6-3 in an hour and 43 minutes to remain on the title course.
Thus, the Spaniard is 17-0 in 2022, and he celebrated another impressive milestone after becoming the first player with 400 Masters 1000 victories! Nineteen years after making the Masters 1000 debut, the Spaniard still competes with the same desire and an iron will to always give his everything.
Rafa defeated Daniel in straight sets for the third time in as many encounters, winning 15 points more and defending three out of four break chances. The Briton led 4-2 in the opening set before the Spaniard raised his level to claim five of the last six games.
Nadal grabbed an early break in set number two and kept it until the end to cross the finish line and advance into the last 16.
Rafael Nadal is through into the last 16 in Indian Wells.
The 21-time Major winner built the advantage in the shortest and mid-range exchanges, staying calm after a slow start and shifting into a higher gear to extend his historical streak this season.
Both players held at 15 in the encounter's opening games to get their names on the scoreboard. Evans broke in game three after Nadal's forehand mistake and brought the next game home with an unreturned serve for a 3-1 advantage.
The Briton grabbed the sixth game after another loose forehand from his opponent, and the Spaniard stayed in contention with a hold at love a few minutes later. Rafa broke back in game eight and held at 15 in the next one to move in front.
Daniel secured the tenth game at love and created a break point at 5-5 for a massive opportunity. Nadal saved it with a volley winner at the net and clinched the game with a smash winner for 6-5. Evans sprayed a forehand mistake in the 12th game to offer his rival set points.
Nadal seized the second after Evans' double fault for 7-5 in 56 minutes. Rafa held at love at the beginning of the second set and broke Daniel in game two after a terrible smash from the Briton. The Spaniard maintained the advantage after fending off a break point in game five and held at love in games seven and nine to emerge at the top and find himself in the last 16.