Rafael Nadal roared back from a 5-2 deficit in the third set, defeating Sebastian Korda 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (3) in the second round in Indian Wells on Saturday and remains undefeated in 2022.
Indian Wells: Rafael Nadal pulls off another miraculous comeback (Reuters Photo)
- Rafael Nadal beat Sebastian Korda 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (3) in the second round.
- Rafael Nadal came back from a 5-2 deficit to beat Korda in the third set
- Nadal announced that he would not compete at the Miami Open
Rafael Nadal came back from a 5-2 deficit in the third set, beating American Sebastian Korda 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(3) in the second round of Indian Wells on Saturday and remains unbeaten in 2022. Nadal defeated 21-year-old Sebastian Korda in two hours and 29 minutes to avoid their earliest defeat since Shanghai 2016.
“Everyone knows this is my favorite place to play and it’s amazing to play in front of you all,” Nadal told the supportive crowd under blue skies in the Southern California desert.
“I feel very lucky today to have progressed. Sebastian played fantastic tennis. He had his chances but that’s tennis.”
The loss will hit Korda, who idolized the 21-time Grand Slam champion and even named his cat after him. “He started playing very differently,” Korda said of Nadal’s game after falling 5-2 in the decider.
“He was getting closer to the baseline. I could see he was a little worried and was changing his tactics. I just wasn’t playing good games and he took advantage of it.” With the win, the three-time Indian Wells champion went 16 games unbeaten this year.
Ahead of his match, Nadal announced that he would not be competing at the Miami Open, which begins later this month. Earlier on Saturday, newly crowned world number one Daniil Medvedev sent Tomas Machac into the third round 6-3, 6-2.
Medvedev’s powerful serve and nearly impenetrable defense proved too much for the Czech qualifier. The Russian received a warm welcome from the spectators at Stadium 1 as he was unveiled as the world’s best male player after the game.
“This is the first time I’ve heard that and people were clapping, so thank you for the nice welcome,” Medvedev said.