Rafael Nadal vs. defeated Korda 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(3) Rafael Nadal’s perfect start to the season, a run that included three titles, was on the line in Indian Wells, and the Spaniard held his own against Sebastian Korda by winning his 13th straight set since the Australian Open final.
But the American took command of the match, beating Nadal in a dominating second set and moving within two points of victory at 5-2 in the third. Once again, Nadal showed his fighting spirit by rallying from that double-break deficit, taking advantage of some final nerves from Korda, who idolized the Spaniard as a child.
Nadal broke easily and came within 3-5, then signed two passing balls to level the match at 5-5. After fending off a break point in the following game, he was the steadier player in the tiebreaker and won the last five points of the match.
“I thought I was already beaten today… and in Australia, I had a very similar feeling,” Nadal said in his post-match press conference, comparing his win against Korda to his miraculous comeback against Daniil Medvedev in the AO final.
“But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to keep trying or keep fighting.” The then-35-year-old would extend his personal best start to the season to 20-0 by reaching the Indian Wells final before falling to Taylor Fritz in a match that made our 2022 ATP Tour biggest upsets list.
4) Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships, 2R, Kecmanovic v. Evans 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(4). In the fourth of what would be six match points saved, Miomir Kecmanovic hit one of the shots of his life to deny Daniel Evans victory in Tokyo.
Emboldened after escaping a 40/0 run at 5-4 serving Evans, the Serbian produced an excellent Great Willy when the score indicated an advantage for the Brit and a new match point for himself. “It was unbelievable, it’s the first time I’ve taken that shot in a game,” he said of Big Willy.
Rafa Nadal is a legend
French soccer superstar Kylian Mbappe is a huge admirer of Rafael Nadal, the man who has won 14 French Open titles in Paris, Mbappe’s hometown as well as his footballing home with Paris Saint-Germain.
He revealed that the Spaniard “fascinated” him, hoping for an opportunity to meet and chat with him. “It’s Nadal who really fascinates me. I didn’t have the opportunity (to meet him), but I would like to,” Mbappe said in an interview with France tv sport on the sidelines of the 2017 French Open.