A couple of months before turning 36, Rafael Nadal is on a career-best streak at the start of the season. The Spaniard is the second player since 1990 with 18 straight wins at the beginning of the season after Novak Djokovic, winning three titles and chasing the fourth in Indian Wells.
Nadal suffered a tough Roland Garros semi-final loss to Novak Djokovic and skipped Wimbledon and the Olympic Games, struggling with a foot injury and playing only two matches by the end of the season. In January, the Spaniard made an incredible comeback, starting with a small ATP 250 title in Melbourne and securing the 21st Major crown at the Australian Open.
Rafa overcame a 6-2, 7-6, 3-2, 40-0 deficit against Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final to lift the record-breaking title and celebrate Down Under for the first time in 13 years. After proper rest, Nadal extended his winning streak in Acapulco in February, claiming the fourth crown in Mexico and standing perfect in 2022 ahead of Indian Wells.
In the second round, Rafa survived a stern Sebastian Korda test, overcoming a 5-2 deficit in the decider and delivering two crucial breaks when the American served for the victory. The Spaniard bested Daniel Evans in straight sets in the third round and set the last 16 clash against Reilly Opelka.
Rafael Nadal is delighted with the season's start.
Nadal won that one 7-6, 7-6 in two hours and 11 minutes for a place in his 12th Indian Wells quarter-final. Rafa felt some pain in his foot, but he still moved well and outplayed the giant server in the more extended exchanges.
Reilly led 4-2 in the second set before Rafa broke back in game eight to get back on the positive side. The Spaniard sealed the deal in the tie break to advance into the last eight and remain on the title course. "The human mentality leads us to get used to good things.
I'm not someone who thinks much about what has happened on the court. You do not have much time to be sad about losses or celebrate when you win. For me, it's super amazing to be in this position, winning three titles and reaching the Indian Wells quarter-final. Two months ago, I could not dream about these results," Rafael Nadal said.