The winning trend is continued by 21-times grand slam champion, Rafael Nadal, in his journey throughout the 2022 season. Facing American Reilly Opelka in the last 16 of the 2022 Indian Wells Masters, Nadal managed to win in straight sets with a final score of 7-6(7/ 3) and 7-6(7/5).
This victory increased Nadal’s win-loss record during the 2022 season which is now 18-0. Nadal’s patience and strong defense in overcoming the fierce attacks that continued to be launched by Opelka managed to make the Spaniard hold his ticket to the quarter-finals, by completing the match which lasted 2 hours 11 minutes.
“He (Opelka) is one of the toughest opponents on the Tour,” Nadal said in an on-court interview quoted from ATP, Thursday (17/3) WIB.
“It was very difficult to control his weapon with his serve and forehand. I think I played the best match of the tournament today. I am very happy to win the match, with two difficult tie-breaks. This victory means a lot to me,” he explained.
With top seed Daniil Medvedev (Russia) and third seed Alexander Zverev (Germany) already suspended, the fourth seed Nadal is the highest-ranked player remaining. Now, he is getting closer to the championship trophy for the fourth time in the 2022 season.
Read also: Enters Indian Wells Round of 16, Nadal records his 400th ATP Masters win
Nadal has made history on several occasions this year, having captured his 21st Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open. The Spaniard also took his 400th win at the Masters 1,000 tournament against Daniel Evans in the third round of Indian Wells.
“I thought I played well today,” said Nadal.
“Today’s game was quite difficult because you need to find the right balance. When you play a point from the baseline you think you can’t miss it because you won’t have many chances. So you need to find the balance not to let it in and not take big risks. ,” he said.
Nadal is a three-time champion at Indian Wells with titles he won in 2007, 2009 and 2013. He will continue his title pursuit and will face Nick Kyrgios (Australia) in the quarter-finals.
The Australian qualified for the quarter-finals without breaking a sweat after young Italian Jannik Sinner was forced to withdraw from the match due to illness. (ATP/OL-5)