Indian Wells Flashback: Rafael Nadal downs Filip Krajinovic to reach quarters

Tennis - Nadal advanced into the Indian Wells quarter-final for the first time in three years in 2019

by Jovica Ilic
Indian Wells Flashback: Rafael Nadal downs Filip Krajinovic to reach quarters

World no. 2 Rafael Nadal advanced to his first Indian Wells quarter-final in three years in 2019. A three-time champion defeated Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 26 minutes to hit the last eight and remain on the title course.

Rafa gave Filip a walkover at Paris Masters in 2017 and was ready to fight against the Serb in their first and only official clash. Nadal dropped 13 points behind the initial shot and lost serve once to keep the pressure on the other side.

Filip could not deal with it, failing to find the form that saw him winning the previous five matches in the desert to reach that point. Nadal defended the second serve in style and won 19 out of 23 points. He fired 25 winners and 19 unforced errors to dominate the most extended exchanges and bring the match home without spending too much time on the court.

Rafael Nadal defeated Filip Krajinovic in straight sets in Indian Wells 2019.

Filip tried to stay in touch with a great rival, hitting the same number of winners and unforced errors and suffering three breaks to trail from start to finish and propel Rafa over the finish line.

Finding the right zone from the first shot, Nadal broke in game two after a loose forehand from Krajinovic. The Spaniard held at 15 in game three top open a 3-0 gap in 13 minutes. Krajinovic broke back in game five when his rival sprayed a backhand error, returning to the positive side and gaining a boost.

Instead of building on that, the Serb got broken at 15 in the next game to push Rafa 4-2 up when his backhand went long. Nadal sealed the opener with a booming serve at 5-3 to move in front after 39 minutes, hoping for more in set number two.

Krajinovic held at love at the beginning of the second set, and Nadal repeated that for 1-1. In game three, Rafa claimed an extended rally with a forehand winner to build the advantage and held at love for 3-1. Krajinovic saved a break point in game five and closed it with a volley winner to remain within one break deficit.

The Spaniard placed a forehand crosscourt winner in game six for 4-2 and landed a service winner in game eight to move closer to the finish line. Krajinovic held in game nine to extend the clash before Nadal sealed the deal with a forehand down the line winner in game ten for a place in the quarter-final.

Indian Wells Rafael Nadal Filip Krajinovic