Nick Kyrgios gave Rafael Nadal a run for his money in the Indian Wells quarter-final despite his usual tantrums with the umpire and crowd. Nadal prevailed 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 after two hours and 46 minutes, beating the Aussie for the sixth time in nine matches and staying undefeated in 2022.
Rafa hit a double fault at 1-1 in the opener to experience a break and push the opponent ahead. Nick moved 4-2 up with an ace in game six and cracked a forehand down the line winner at 4-3. Nadal earned the first break chance of the match in the last moment at 4-5 and seized it after the rival’s loose forehand to level the score and extend the battle.
Rafael Nadal defeated Nick Kyrgios in three sets in Indian Wells.
Losing ground after almost winning the set, Nick lost the tie break 7-0 after a code violation and a point penalty. The Aussie kept his composure in the rest of the clash, serving well in set number two and keeping the pressure on the other side.
Rafa delivered five fine holds and looked good to introduce the second tie break at 5-6. Instead, Kyrgios broke him at 15 with a behind-the-back backhand volley winner to take the set 7-5 and force a decider in just under two hours.
Nadal saved two break points in the final set’s second game to end his downfall and gain a boost. Kyrgios survived the fifth game before hitting a costly double fault at 3-3 to hurt his chances. Nadal held at love with a forehand winner for 5-3 and emerged at the top with a smash winner in game ten for a place in the semis.
“That one hit pretty hard. I felt like I was the one to end Nadal’s streak. I played well and did everything right in the first set. I had a game plan, and everything was working. I was two points from winning the set, and I do not know how he got out to win that tenth game, especially the fourth point.