A three-time Indian Wells champion Rafael Nadal reached the fourth round in the desert for the 13th time. Rafa barely survived the second round, overcoming a 5-2 deficit against Sebastian Korda in the deciding set and moving through.
Two days later, the Spaniard faced Daniel Evans in the third round and scored a 7-5, 6-3 triumph in an hour and 43 minutes to remain on the title course. Nadal improved to 17-0 in 2022 and achieved a massive milestone , becoming the first player with 400 Masters 1000 victories!
Rafa defeated Daniel in straight sets for the third time in as many encounters. He grabbed 15 points more than his opponent and defended three out of four break chances to keep the pressure on the other side. The Briton led 4-2 in the opening set before the Spaniard raised his level and claimed five of the last six games.
Nadal grabbed an early break in set number two and kept it until the end to advance into the last 16.
Rafael Nadal scored his 400th Masters 1000 victory in Indian Wells.
A 21-time Major winner built the advantage in the shortest and mid-range exchanges.
He stayed calm after a slow start and shifted into a higher gear to extend his notable streak. Both players held at 15 in the encounter’s opening games to get their names on the scoreboard. Evans broke in game three after Nadal’s forehand mistake and brought the next game home with an unreturned serve for a 3-1 advantage.
The Briton grabbed the sixth game after another loose forehand from his opponent, and the Spaniard stayed in contention with a hold at love a few minutes later. Rafa broke back in game eight and held at 15 in the next one with a service winner to move in front.
Daniel secured the tenth game at love with a forehand winner and created a break point at 5-5 for a massive opportunity. Nadal saved it with a volley winner at the net and clinched the game with a smash winner for 6-5. Evans sprayed a forehand mistake in the 12th game to offer his rival set points.
Nadal seized the second after Evans’ double fault for 7-5 in 56 minutes. Rafa held at love at the beginning of the second set with an unreturned serve and broke Daniel in game two after the Briton’s terrible smash. Nadal forced the rival’s mistake in game three to open a 3-0 gap and faced a break point at 3-1 following a forehand mistake.
Rafa denied it with a volley winner and held after Daniel’s wild forehand to remain in front. The Spaniard closed the seventh game at love to forge a 5-2 lead and move closer to the finish line. Evans prolonged the duel with a hold at love in game eight, and Nadal served for the win at 5-3.
Rafa claimed the opening point with a volley winner at the net and painted a backhand down the line bullet for three match points. The Spaniard seized the first with a forehand winner to seal the deal and advance into the last 16.