Indian Wells has been dyed red and yellow this year thanks to the play and victories of Rafa Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz and Paula Badosa. The first two meet this Saturday (23:00, #Vamos) in a historic semi-final, because It will be the first between two tennis players from the Navy in the 46-year history of the tournament. The other will be disputed by Rublev, who beat Dimitrov (7-5, 6-2) and Fritz, who defeated Kecmanovic (7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-1). If there are no injuries or other problems, there will surely be a Spaniard in Sunday’s finals. Two in case of victory for the Catalan, who faced the Greek Maria Sakkari last night.
Four Spaniards have been crowned in the California desert: José Higueras (1983), Álex Corretja (2000), Nadal (2007, 2009 and 2013) and Badosa (2021). Emilio Sánchez Vicario (1988), Conchita Martínez (1992 and 1996) and Carlos Moyá (2011) were runners-up, as was Nadal in 2011.
The man from Manacori was the first to secure his place in the penultimate round with a hard-fought win against the controversial Nick Kyrgios (7-6 (0), 5-7 and 6-4 in 2h46), who raised a serious match at the start and ended up losing the forms as he almost always does. It is the sixth time that Rafa, who has accumulated 19 consecutive wins without defeat in the best start to the season of his career, has beaten the Aussie in nine games. Later, Alcaraz prevailed in a bumpy match against reigning champion Cameron Norrie, whom he outscored 6-4, 6-3 in 1h44. The 18-year-old from Murcia credits a balance of 12-1 with eight straight wins. Against the British he offered an impressive physical and tennis display. He is virtually 15th in the world and sixth in the race to the ATP Finals, goals he had set himself in the preseason.
In their respective press conferences, Nadal and Alcaraz praised each other. “I think he’s unstoppable career-wise. He has all the ingredients: passion, humility to work hard… And he’s a good guy. He reminds me in many things of me when I was a 17 or 18-year-old boy,” Rafa said. “Having such a star from my country allows us to continue enjoying an incredible player who will fight for the most important titles for many years”he added.
Alcaraz thanked these words: “It is very nice that he made that comparison. I know that when he was that age he had already won a Grand Slam, so it is good that he says that he sees himself with my age”affirmed the prodigy of El Palmar. “I don’t know what I will have to do to beat him. I think I played at a high level in the tournament. I know it will be a very tough game, but everyone knows what Rafa’s game is like and that he has a thousand lives. When he is down on the scoreboard he can change his shots and play his game. We’ll see what happens,” he warned.
The fact is that between the two of them and Badosa, Spanish tennis is phenomenally represented in one of the most important events on the circuit, the fifth Grand Slam. “Before the game, I was waiting and I saw three Spanish flags, because there were three games with Spaniards. For me it is incredible to be one of them. I saw Rafa and Carlos. It’s crazy how they play. One is already present, for the other I have no words”Badosa acknowledged. The Navy shines in 2022.
Indian Wells Masters 1,000 results.