Rafael Nadal has won three times in Indian Wells, but his last seal dates back to 2013. The particular conditions of the Californian tournament make it difficult to adapt to these fields, so much so that it is true that the Spaniard has already risked leaving the scene.
debut. The former world number 1 recovered a double break from Sebastian Korda in the decisive set, showing once again the resilience that allowed him to make tennis history. The 35-year-old from Manacor is still undefeated in 2022, having collected 17 wins against zero losses.
If he beats Reilly Opelka in the round of 16, Nadal will overtake Pete Sampras and Roger Federer in this particular ranking. Both the American and the Swiss had stopped at 17 consecutive wins (at the beginning of the season) in 1998 and 2018 respectively.
The Majorcan faced Opelka only once in the major circuit, at the Internazionali d'Italia 2021, coming out victorious in two set. The American giant appeared in excellent shape, having ousted Lorenzo Musetti and Denis Shapovalov.
In a recent interview with the 'Tennis365' portal, Chris Evert made an interesting parallel between Nadal and Simona Halep.
Evert on Rafael Nadal
“Simona Halep is another player like Rafael Nadal who has to work harder in training, in the gym, in matches – she is known for three-set matches and comebacks, she is not tall or strong so she has to rely more on her legs and movement,” said Evert.
In the interview, Evert admitted that she is a "big fan" of Halep, who she believes "can beat a lot of players" who are currently ranked higher than her on the WTA tour. “I think it just depends on her, I’m a big fan of Simona, I like her game, I think she can beat a lot of these players who are ranked ahead of her," mentioned the 18-time Grand Slam winner.
“I can’t believe she’s the 24th favorite (seed at Indian Wells), it’s ridiculous but I know it’s because she was injured, she didn’t play, but she has what it takes to get back in the top five – she is stronger than almost all these players and moves as well as the best on the circuit," added Evert.
It has been a difficult tournament in Indian Wells for the seeded players. With windy conditions, more often than not it becomes tough to play natural shots. We have already seen the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev bow out of the tournament.
Moreover, Rafael Nadal survived a scare in his second-round win against the American tennis sensation, Sebastian Korda.