There is no one to put the glove on Rafa Nadal. Not even with a hook. The Balearic extended his unstoppable march in 2022 with another impressive victory (16th in as many games, best career start to a season) before Sebastian Kordawhat served to win with 5-2 and finally lost 6-2, 1-6 and 7-6 (3) in 2h29 exciting meeting. He had already beaten the promising 21-year-old American and 38th in the world two years ago on the land of Roland Garros, but this time he suffered unspeakably to be able to an excellent version of the boy on a less favorable terrain, the hard track of Indian Wells. A Masters 1,000 that the triple champion this year (Melbourne, Australian Open and Acapulco) won in 2007, 2009 and 2013. Nadal returned after two courses of absence and goes for it all. Proof of this is the fact of having confirmed this Saturday that he will not play in Miami (March 23 to April 3).
He will have to improve, but his morale is reinforced after this new feat. His next rival, on Monday in the third round, will be the British Daniel Evans, who passed over the Argentine Coria (6-2 and 6-0 in 67 minutes). “It was one of those days where you can win a match like that because things have been going well for you since the beginning of the year. I feel sorry for him, really, maybe he deserved to win more than me, but I fought and got over it. So I am very happy and I will try to be better the next day”, analyzed the winner.
Rafa exhibited a new and colorful kit (orange shirt and blue pants), which is very reminiscent of the outfit of a famous Japanese anime character, Goku.protagonist of Dragon Ball, a powerful hero who fired life waves with which he knocked back his enemies. And he said things that could perfectly well be put into the mouth of the manacorí. “Life throws us all at some point. Each one decides whether to stay on the ground, or get up and face it”, for example. Or this other one: “Never settle for how you are now, exceed your limits.” Korda suffered in his flesh the conviction of the winner of 21 Grand Slams in a match start that put him very uphill in the blink of an eye (4-0).
From there, Nadal humanized himself and the American lost respect for him a little, although not enough to save the first round. That impulse did serve him to open the second with a break (3-0) and dream of giving the bell. He also did it with unusual ease, by dint of courage and great remains, showing what he is capable of doing if he lets go. It was Rafa’s turn to try to get his act together and cheer up with his record, let’s go! and good services, like the ones he had executed at the start of the duel. Even so, he suffered a lot due to the depth of his rival’s responses, which took time away from him to make the second shot, and he could not avoid the equalizer in his worst set of the course.
Korda did not give his arm to twist and decisively started the third set. Nadal defended himself well and tried to disturb the rest. However, his opponent did not let his guard down and attacked relentlessly until he found a break and then another in a very unlucky game by Rafa (5-2), who failed to make his drive work and made quite a few unforced errors (24, eight double fault). With everything and with that, he worked the miracle, a new sorpasso. He reached 5-5 with incredible strikes and the same determination that made him champion in Australia when he came back two sets from Medvedev. The clash reached the repanocha, a tie-break. Days before they had played one during a training match. Then the manacorí won. History repeated itself, even though the Titan was exhausted. Amazing? Nope Nadal.
Indian Wells Masters 1,000 results.