Amid a career-best 17-0 start to the season, Rafael Nadal is seeking his fourth BNP Paribas Open title and a 37th ATP Masters 1000 trophy, which would tie him level with Serbian Novak Djokovic. We review the 35-year-old's three titles in the desert: 2007 | Rafael Nadal defeated.
Novak Djokovic, 6-2, 7-5 »Nadal was already a three-time Roland Garros champion when he arrived at the Coachella Valley in 2007, but he was still finding his place on hard courts. Almost entrenched at No. 2 behind Roger Federer, the Spaniard rose to the occasion, ending an eight-month title drought with a straight-sets takedown of Novak Djokovic, who was making his first appearance in a ATP Masters 1000 final.
"People talk a lot about the changes in my game, but the truth is that I'm just Rafael Nadal," he said. The burgeoning Nadal-Djokovic rivalry was still in its infancy. It was only the second of 58 matches they played until 2022 (the Serb holds a slim 30-28 head-to-head advantage).
"He's a great competitor and the big forehand from him, he was in control," said Djokovic, who by reaching the final broke into the Top 10 for the first time. 2009 | Rafael Nadal defeated. Andy Murray, 6-1, 6-2» The No.
World 2 had a lot of work ahead of him in 2007, as he saved five match points to overcome Argentina's David Nalbandian in a breakaway for history, 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-0 in the round of 16. He scored three consecutive top 10 wins to take the title, beating Britain's Andy Murray in the final amid 50mph gusts.
Nadal has been invincible so far this season
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. The Spaniard explained the reasons as to why he had a tough second-round outing. He said, “Ball is not 100% fair on the strings, you have to accept that, lot of other players hit double faults here..
yesterday, I made double faults in important moments, not today, they didn’t make a difference at all.. Not the amount of the double faults but when you hit them”. For the record, Nadal made as many as eight double faults in his second-round win.
Further, during the post-match press conference, he added, “I feel that this kind of ball, we know that since long time ago no with this kind of ball that is not a ball that you feel a lot. When the ball is on the string is a ball that sometimes you feel like in a stun on the string. Comparing to other balls that you have the feeling that you can manage the ball”.