Rafael Nadal on epic win over Carlos Alcaraz: 'It was my best match'

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Rafael Nadal on epic win over Carlos Alcaraz: 'It was my best match'

The 21-time Major winner Rafael Nadal is a win away from the fourth straight title since the start of the season! The legendary Spaniard is yet to lose a match in 2022, conquering three titles and reaching the fifth Indian Wells final following a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over Carlos Alcaraz.

An 18-year-old pushed his compatriot to the limits in his first Masters 1000 semi-final, staying on the court for three hours and 12 minutes before laying down his weapons. Nadal was thrilled following his 20th victory of the season, saying it was his best match of the tournament and feeling excited to reach another final in the desert.

The conditions were tough, and two great rivals gave their best to overcome the wind and deliver their A-game. Rafa took only two points more than Carlos and converted six out of 21 break chances. A teenager secured five breaks and missed his opportunities at 2-2 in the final set, failing to convert three break points and losing ground after that.

There was nothing to separate them in the shortest and more extended rallies, and the crowd enjoyed one of the finest encounters on Stadium 1 in the past ten years. Nadal lost serve twice in the opener and created 17 break chances, seizing three to prevail.

Carlos broke in the first game and defended five break chances in game two to confirm the lead. Nadal raised his level and grabbed four straight break to move 4-2 up, breaking the opponent in games four and six to gain a boost.

The youngster broke back in game seven and defended four break points in the next one to lock the result at 4-4. Nadal pushed strong on the return in game ten, creating one break chance after another and converting the fifth for 6-4 in grueling 66 minutes!

The second set kicked off with four good holds before the wind increased and put servers in a terrible position.

Rafael Nadal was pleased with his performance against Carlos Alcaraz.

The returners claimed five straight games, and Alcaraz delivered three breaks in a row to control the pace and show the fighting spitit.

The young gun seized the seventh break chance in a marathon game nine with a perfect lob winner. He moved 5-4 in front and wrapped up the set after deuce in the next one to introduce a decider after two hours and 21 minutes!

Players barely lost a couple of points in their games in the final set's first four games for 2-2. Rafa battled past three break points in game five and held after an extended rally for a massive boost. The older Spaniard held after deuce with a service winner in game seven, with three hours and two minutes on the clock!

Nadal secured a crucial break at 4-3 with a volley winner and fired a service winner in game nine to seal the deal and advance into the 53rd Masters 1000 final. "It was an entertaining duel. I think it was my best match of the tournament in terms of level. This victory means a lot to me, and I'm thrilled to be in another Indian Wells final," Rafael Nadal said.