Mon. May 23rd, 2022


Rafael Nadal moves to 18-0 for the season to reach the quarter-finals at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells; the Australian Open champion will next take on Nick Kyrgios in a mouth-watering clash

Last Updated: 16/03/22 11:52pm

Rafael Nadal defeated Reilly Opelka to reach the quarter-finals at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells

Rafael Nadal defeated Reilly Opelka to reach the quarter-finals at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells

Rafael Nadal overcame giant American Reilly Opelka to claim an 18th consecutive win this season on his way to the quarter-finals at Indian Wells on Wednesday.

Nadal, a three-time champion in the desert, became the second player in ATP Tour history to start a season 18-0, edging Opelka 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5).

Only Novak Djokovic has made a better start to the season when he went 26-0 to begin 2020 and 41-0 to open 2011.

Unseeded Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic stunned world No 6 Matteo Berrettini 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 to set up a quarter-final meeting with American Taylor Fritz.

Serbian Kecmanovic absorbed his opponent’s power serve in the first set, converting on a break-point chance in the fourth game, as a frustrated Berrettini won just eight return points.

But Kecmanovic, 22, was unable to close out the match as a break-point opportunity slipped through his fingers late in the second set, in which Berrettini, who reached his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon last year, struck 21 winners and won a tense tie-break to level.

Berrettini saved two breaks in the eighth game in a tightly fought final set to stay alive but Kecmanovic pounced to break the Italian’s serve to love in the final game.

He will next play Fritz who outlasted Australian Alex de Minaur 3-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

Australian Nick Kyrgios advanced by walkover after Italian Jannik Sinner withdrew from the tournament due to illness.

Grigor Dimitrov made it through to the quarter-finals for the second year running after he beat John Isner 6-3 7-6 (7-6).

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