Rafa Nadal knocks down the giant Opelka in Indian Wells and extends his unbeaten streak

Rafael Nadal add and continue in the Masters 1,000 of Indian Wells after defeating Reilly Opelka 7-6(3) and 7-6(5). There are already 18 games won this season.

The manager signs the second best start since the creation of the ATP circuit in 1990, only surpassed by the 41 wins of Novak Djokovic in 2011 and the 26, again of the Serbian, in 2020.

Nadal had to face Opelka in the first round in Acapulco. Some physical discomfort from the North American giant prevented it. The day came this Wednesday in the Round of 16 at Indian Wells.

In the only precedent between the two, the Spaniard beat his rival in the semifinals of the TMS in Rome in its 2021 edition. The earth, Rafa’s favorite surface, had given way to hard.

Opelka, champion this year in Dallas and finalist in Delray Beachresponds to the profile of the American tennis player who achieves the most points in his country.

At the Tennis Garden headquarters in the Coachella Valley, he was dangerous. The wayward Denis Shapovalov already verified it in the previous round, who saw how his opponent lifted a set from him.

The seventeenth favorite in the draw, exempt from the opening round, eliminated Lorenzo Musetti earlier. The serve was imposed on the rest at the beginning of the game and that was synonymous with equality.

Nadal had a first break ball in the seventh game that he could not convert. Services 230 kilometers from Opelka, with a tailwind, threatened even the spectators sitting in the front rows. The 2.11 meters of him are a danger.

The outcome of the set ended in the expected sudden death. The Spaniard, who was 3-2 down, chained five points that gave him an advantage on the scoreboard. In the moment of truth, Reilly found himself condemned for two double faults.

In the sequel, Rafa was visited by discomfort in his left foot and changed his body language. His opponent hurt with a ‘break’ that gave him a 4-2 lead. He had a 15-40 return for 5-2.

The winning character of the champion of 21 greats then appeared to not give up. Nevertheless, took advantage of the changes to take off the shoe and perform mobility exercises with the foot.

Nadal returned to the scene with three consecutive games to put the 5-4 in his favor. He will give you time to win in two sets.

Best season starts since the creation of the ATP circuit (1990)

1. Novak Djokovic 41-0 (2011)

2. Novak Djokovic 26-0 (2020)

3. Rafael Nadal 18-0 (2022)

4. Pete Sampras 17-0 (1997)

5. Roger Federer 17-0 (2018)

6. Novak Djokovic 17-0 (2013)

Nadal’s classification places him two wins away from a final that would return him to the ATP podium to the detriment of Alexander Zverev. It will not be the only significant change in the next ranking update as Daniil Medvedev will cede his brief lead to Novak Djokovic.

Kyrgios passes without playing

Nick Kyrgios, 132 on the lists but who received an invitation from the organization to participate in the first Masters 1,000 on the calendar, awaits him this Thursday in the penultimate round. The Australian has been favored by the retirement before playing of the Italian Jannik Sinner. I claimed illness.

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Rafa Nadal knocks down the giant Opelka in Indian Wells and extends his unbeaten streak

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