Rafael Nadal entered his 15th BNP Paribas Open with a 15-0 record in 2022, his career-best start to a season. He needed another great escape to keep that streak intact against Sebastian Korda on Saturday with a 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(3) victory.
The American held a double break advantage at 5-2 in the third set in Indian Wells and twice served for the match. But just as in the Australian Open final, Nadal managed to turn the match around after looking down and out against an inspired opponent.
Nadal’s streak of 13 straight sets won dating back to the Melbourne final was snapped, but the three-time Indian Wells champ denied Korda a famous victory with another clutch performance down the stretch.
Two perfectly placed passing shots helped Nadal get back on serve at 5-5 in the third, and the Spaniard was the steadier player in the tie-break as he won the final five points of the match.
More to follow…