Korda Can’t Close Out Nadal In Indian Wells Collapse, Medvedev Rolls; Murray, Zverev Today
Tennis Channel’s Jim Courier reminded viewers Sebastian Korda would be battling nerves as well as Rafael Nadal trying to close out the former No. 1 in the second round at Indian Wells yesterday afternoon.
Korda had overturned a blowout first set by dictating play himself in the second, and built a 5-2 lead in the third with two breaks. But Courier pointed out, the road would not be easy, afterall Korda was facing his idol, the man he named his cat after.
Korda would drop four straight games — he never saw a match point — and eventually the final set tiebreaker as Nadal showed what champions do: Win!
“I thought I was lost today… and in Australia, very similar feeling,” Nadal said. “But that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to keep trying or keep fighting.
“Even if I think I’m going to lose the match, my mindset before returning that 5-2 game is, ‘OK, I am playing bad, I had two breaks, but even if I’m going to lose, I’m going to try to finish the match having some better feelings.’ So I need to fight to find these better feelings in that last game.
“I think it’s true that probably he got a little bit more nervous,” he added. “He made some more mistakes, being honest. I think I played a little bit better at least.”
That blown lead will weigh on Korda’s mind.
“He started playing a lot different,” Korda said. “He moved closer to the baseline. I could see that he was a little worried, changing up his tactics. Just didn’t play good games, and he took advantage of it.
“He’ll always be my idol in tennis, one of the reasons why I picked up a tennis racquet,” he added.
Nadal, who is now 16-0, say he’ll need to play better tennis going forward if he is to win a 4th Indian Wells title. Next up will be Dan Evans.
“I didn’t have my best feeling today,” Nadal said. “Good thing tomorrow is a day off. I need to keep practicing Another fantastic feeling being able to win that match. It doesn’t matter what way.”
Korda wasn’t the only American to suffer final set tiebreak heartbreak.
Jack Sock served for the match at 5-4 against Stefanos Tsitsipas in the deciding breaker but didn’t win another point as the pressure got to the big-hitting American, as the Greek took it 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(5).
”It was a crazy battle; we both left everything out there,” Tsitsipas said. “Jack played incredibly well at times but I was able to bring out the best in my game at the end. I proved I could play aggressive tennis and stay calm at the same time.”
And JJ Wolf fell just short against the steady Roberto Bautista Agut who avoided the upset in a 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-6(5).
Americans finished 2-5 on the day with Jenson Brooksby crushing Karen Khachanov 6-0, 6-3 and Reilly Opelka overwhelming Lorenzo Musetti.
Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Denis Shapovalov, Gael Monfils and Nick Kyrgios were also winners.
The day began with Daniil Medvedev making his on-court debut as the world No. 1 and the Russian didn’t disappoint crushing qualifier Tomas Mahac 6-3, 6-2.
“I think I was pretty consistent,” Medvedev said. “If you look at the first set, it was pretty even. He made a few unforced errors and maybe some bad decisions in the crucial moments. That’s how tennis is sometimes.
“The scoreline might be pretty effective, 6-3, 6-2, but if you look at the points and the games, it was not as easy as it seems. So I’m happy that I managed to pull through and be the most consistent player.”
On Sunday, the second round closes with Andy Murray returning to meet Alexander Bublik for a second time in as many months.
Alexander Zverev, the now-single Matteo Berrettini, Andrey Rulblev and John Isner also open play.
SUNDAY INDIAN WELLS SCHEDULE
STADIUM 1 Starts At 11:00 Am
11 Emma Raducanu v Petra Martic
3 Iga Swiatek v 29 Clara Tauson
6 Matteo Berrettini v (Q) Holger Rune
Not Before 6:00 PM
24 Simona Halep v 16 Cori Gauff
Tommy Paul v 3 Alexander Zverev
STADIUM 2 Starts At 11:00 Am
(WC) Sam Querrey v 23 John Isner
31 Alexander Bublik v (WC) Andy Murray
Not Before 3:00 PM
25 Madison Keys v Alison Riske
Not Before 6:00 Pm
(WC) John Isner/Jack Sock v (WC) Thanasi Kokkinakis/Nick Kyrgios
Not Before 8:00 PM
23 Daria Kasatkina v 15 Angelique Kerber
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