Rafael Nadal reaches his 18th consecutive victory, beating Reilly Opelka in the 4th round of Indian Wells 2022, after the Australian triumph and the victory in Acapulco. Better than Pete Sampras in 1997 and Roger Federer in 2018: better than him only Novak Djokovic, in 2011 and 2020.
The very Spanish champion, three times champion of the tournament, breaks down Opelka's extraordinary stamina and reaches the quarter-finals. Awaiting him is the confrontation with Nick Kyrgios, who overcomes the cut of the fourth round without breaking a sweat, taking advantage of Jannik Sinner's retirement.
Opelka, forced to chase already in the first game, re-emerges with the straight service scheme and with three first winners. Nadal, if possible, keeps even higher averages with the joke available (needless to say he leaves three points on the road) faces 0-30 even in the seventh game, thanks to two double faults, but probably lacks a bit of courage on 30-40.
The very Spanish champion, who manages a matter of little tennis with incredible authority, breaks the balance in the heart of the tie break and strengthens the advantage at the foot of the finish line. The 7-3 is practically a logical consequence.
Nadal turns off the light: like a bolt from the blue, in an extremely comfortable scoring situation, the Spanish champion does not take advantage of a break point in the fourth game and loses control of the forehand on two occasions, always out of service, on 2- 3.
Opelka gets on the first train, takes advantage of Nadal's hasty plan but does not exploit three chances for the double advantage. Nadal takes matters into his own hands. With patience, and especially with the backhand, he tries not to give reference points from the baseline and above all to force the American giant to play shots outside the comfort zone.
The three-time champion of the tournament, who hooks the 0-30, is unable to contain a splendid acceleration of Opelka on the first break point, but finds sufficient weapons to heal the gap at the second useful opportunity.
The giant plays a game of giant: he saves himself once again at 5-5, but probably lacks clarity with the forehand on 2-3 and falls under the clutches of Nadal.
In the other matches, victories of Carlos Alcaraz, Andrey Rublev, Cameroon Norrie, Miomir Kecmanovic and Taylor Fritz.
In the women's event, in fifty-five minutes Simona Halep beat Petra Martic and to overcome the quarter-final cut in Indian Wells. A 6-1 6-1 with very little room for interpretation. Fourth time in the top four for the Romanian (champion in 2015) on a collision course with Iga Swiatek, who in almost identical ways resolves the practice against Madison Keys with a very dry 6-1 6-0.
For the two it will be the first direct confrontation in a tournament other than Roland Garros and the Australian Open. The balance of 2-1 in favor of the two-time Grand Slam champion