Indian Wells Flashback: Rafael Nadal trails 6-4, 2-0. What happens next?
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 3510
Rafael Nadal's third and most recent Indian Wells title came ten years ago over Juan Martin del Potro. Rafa took down Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych to set the title clash against the Argentine. Nadal and del Potro met for the eighth time, and Rafa secured his eighth victory following a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph.
Thus, the Spaniard won his 17th match from 18 encounters in 2013 and lifted his 22nd Masters 1000 title at 26! Also, Nadal celebrated his first hard-court ATP title since Tokyo 2010! Rafa played better on the second serve and had numerous chances to seal the deal much earlier.
The Spaniard created 18 break opportunities and converted only four while suffering three breaks from as many opportunities offered to the Argentine. Nadal had more winners and fewer unforced errors. Del Potro created the gap in the forced errors department and stayed in touch, battling hard for every point before Nadal found a way to bring the victory home.
Rafael Nadal came from a set and a break down to lift the 2013 Indian Wells title.
The Argentine had a slim edge in the shortest exchanges. In contrast, the Spaniard dominated the more extended ones. He triumphed in that area and became the third player with three Masters 1000 trophies in Indian Wells after Michael Chang and Roger Federer.
A forehand down the line winner secured a break for Rafa in the encounter's second game, and he created more chances on the return at 3-0. Juan Martin denied them and landed a forehand winner to get his name on the scoreboard and gain a boost.
The Argentine pulled the break back in the next game with a return winner and held at 15 with a service winner to level the score at 3-3. Both players delivered comfortable holds in games seven and eight before del Potro grabbed the second break following Nadal's forehand error.
Thus, the Argentine moved 5-4 in front and secured the opening set with a volley winner in game ten after 53 minutes. Juan Martin broke in the second set's first game when Rafa netted a forehand and held after another terrible forehand from the Spaniard to move 6-4, 2-0 up.
With no room for mistakes, Nadal broke back in the sixth game and held at 15 with a service winner to go 4-3 up. With a boost on his side, he secured another break with a forehand winner and closed the set with three winners at 5-3 to force a decider.
The Argentine survived break chances at the beginning of the final set before Rafa landed a forehand winner at 1-1 to move in front. Nadal cemented the break with a service winner in game four and took a massive step toward the finish line.
Both players held at love in the next two games, and the Spaniard did the same at 4-3 to maintain the lead. Rafa earned three match points on the return at 5-3 when del Potro showed the spirit of a warrior. The Argentine fended them off and took five straight points to wrap up the game and prolong the battle.
Rafa served for the triumph in game ten and held at 15 to start a massive celebration of a significant title after a terrible second part of 2012.