Thursday. 01.12.2022
INDIAN WELLS

Nadal beats Evans at Indian Wells, stays unbeaten in 2022

The 35-year-old Spaniard has won all 17 of his matches in 2022
14 March 2022, US, Indian Wells: Spainsh tennis player Rafael Nadal returns a shot against UK's Daniel Evans during their Men's Singles Round of 32 Tennis match of the Indian Wells Masters tennis tournament at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Photo: Charles Baus/CSM via ZUMA Press Wire/dpa.
Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal returns a shot against UK's Daniel Evans at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Photo: Charles Baus/dpa.

Rafael Nadal extended his winning run to 17 matches by beating Britain's Dan Evans in straight sets to reach the last 16 at Indian Wells.

Nadal, who hit back from 5-2 down in the deciding set against American Sebastian Korda in the previous round, won 7-5 6-3 against the British number two.

The 35-year-old Spaniard has won all 17 of his matches in 2022, beating Daniil Medvedev in the Australian Open final to claim a record 21st grand slam title before beating British number one Cameron Norrie to win the Mexican Open.

In his post-match interview, Nadal said: "I started playing better and better and think I finished the match well, so that's important for the confidence and playing a tough opponent like Dan.

"It's a good victory for me, so I'm very happy to beat Dan in the third round and happy to be here.

"The match in the beginning was difficult. He put me under some pressure combining his great slice backhand and the bounce has been quite low.

"It was not easy in the windy conditions here to put him in a tough position, but I hit a couple of passing shots in some important moments."

Impressive start

Evans lacked no confidence in the opening set and made an impressive start, breaking the Spaniard in the third game to lead 3-1 and 4-2.

Nadal broke back in the eighth game to level it up at 4-4 and then saved a break point at 5-5 before eventually holding serve to lead 6-5.

Evans' failure to take advantage in the previous game appeared to take its toll as he quickly fell 0-40 down on his serve and although the Brit saved one set point, Nadal sealed the second decisive break on the next point to take the set 7-5.

Nadal sensed his chance to build on his advantage and reeled off his fifth game in a row to lead 3-0 in the second set.

Evans stopped the rot to hold serve in the fourth game and pushed Nadal hard in the fifth game, earning a break point before the Spaniard held to lead 4-1.

Medvedev beaten by Monfils

The British number two showed plenty of spirit to hold serve twice more to make it 5-3, but Nadal raced through his next service game, setting up match point with a brilliant backhand down the line and sealing victory with a forehand winner.

Medvedev was beaten in three sets by inspired French veteran Gael Monfils and the Russian will relinquish his world number one status as a result.

Medvedev will hand back top spot in the rankings to Novak Djokovic next Monday after slipping to a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 defeat.

Medvedev appeared in control after winning the last 11 points of the first set, but 35-year-old Monfils stepped up a gear and produced a thrilling display of carefree hitting in the final two sets to win in just over two hours.

Monfils will play Carlos Alcaraz in the last 16 after the Spanish teenager thrashed countryman Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-0.

Nadal beats Evans at Indian Wells, stays unbeaten in 2022
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