Rafael Nadal made a perfect start to the 2022 season, conquering Melbourne, the Australian Open and Acapulco before heading to Indian Wells. The Spaniard had to dig deep against the young American Sebastian Korda in the second round, trailing 5-2 in the decider before performing a massive comeback!
Nadal extended his winning streak with a 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 triumph in two hours and 29 minutes following a notable turnaround. Rafa gave a simple explanation after the duel, admitting he never gives up, even while trailing two breaks.
The Spaniard wanted to raise his level and finish the contest in a fine rhythm, not thinking about a turnaround. However, Korda started spraying errors, squandering a massive advantage and experiencing a heartbreaking loss.
Rafa played at a high level in the opening set, continuing where he left in Acapulco and looking good to score a quick victory.
Rafael Nadal escaped a loss against Korda in Indian Wells 2022.
Instead, Sebastian raised his level against his idol, dominating set number two and forcing a decider.
With everything working his way, Korda built a tremendous 5-2 advantage in the final set, firing from both wings and moving closer to his career-best victory. Restarting his engines in the last moment, Rafa pulled one break back in game eight and survived at 4-5 to deliver the second break and make the result even.
Nadal sprayed a forehand error in the 11th game to face a break point, denying it after Korda's massive forehand mistake. The match went into a deciding tie break, and Sebastian opened a 3-2 gap. Korda sent a backhand wide in the sixth point and lost momentum, allowing Rafa to claim five straight points and emerge at the top.
"I thought I was lost, like in the Australian Open final. That does not mean I'm going to stop fighting and trying. Even if I think I will lose the match, my mind at 2-5 thinks: 'Okay, I'm playing poorly, and I'm two breaks down.
Even if I'm going to lose, I want to finish the match with a good feeling.' Sebastian started to get a little more nervous at 5-2, making more mistakes. I'm fortunate to overcome the deficit and bring the victory home, but I must play better in the next round.
It's never easy to serve out for the win at 5-4, and we all feel the pressure. If you say you do not, you lie or do not care about the sport. I can not make a comeback in every match; that's impossible. I do not have the incredible self-confidence to overcome a 5-2 deficit.
It's almost out of reach, but I do not want to give up. I will keep trying, even when my odds do not exist. I'm trying to force my rival to beat me without helping him. If nothing, I'm trying to make things more complicated for him.
While trailing 5-2 in the decider, there's a 90% chance you will lose. If you do not try, you are losing 100%," Rafael Nadal said.