Nadal produces Houdini act at Indian Wells I Brits Norrie & Evans through

Britain’s Dan Evans races through his second-round match against Federico Coria to set up a meeting with Rafael Nadal; Reigning champion Cameron Norrie eases past Spain’s Pedro Martinez with Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu back in action on Sunday

Last Updated: 12/03/22 11:57pm

Rafael Nadal battled back from the brink of defeat to extend his winning streak at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells

Rafael Nadal produced a remarkable Houdini act to defeat American Sebastian Korda in an Indian Wells thriller on Saturday as Britain’s Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans both advanced, while Daniil Medvedev cruised through his first match as world No 1.

Nadal looked down and out at 5-2 down in the deciding set against American Sebastian Korda, but the great Spaniard conjured up a quite phenomenal comeback to win 6-2 1-6 7-6 (7-3).

The 35-year-old, who clinched a record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open earlier this year, extended his winning streak to 16-0 for the season.

That unbeaten record looked to be seriously under threat when he appeared down and out in the third set. But Korda imploded when serving for the match twice with Nadal taking his chances to snatch the win in a tie-break to keep his hopes of winning a fourth title at the event alive.

“Everyone knows this is my favourite place to play and it is amazing to play in front of all you guys,” Nadal said.

“I feel very lucky today to be through. Sebastian was playing some fantastic tennis. He had his chances, but that’s tennis.”

Never count Nadal out ???@RafaelNadal digs out of a 5-2 hole in the third to finish off Korda 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(3) and stays undefeated#IndianWells pic.twitter.com/3BLvN6Q9bY

— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN)

March 12, 2022

Before his match, Nadal announced that he would not compete at the Miami Open, which starts later this month.

“Rafa will certainly be missed. He has so many fans here in South Florida, and we hope to see him back in Miami next year,” Miami tournament director James Blake said.

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Maxime Cressy produces one of the slowest recorded aces in history against Christopher Eubanks

Maxime Cressy produces one of the slowest recorded aces in history against Christopher Eubanks

Brits Norrie and Evans both advance

Dan Evans and Cameron Norrie both advanced to the next round on a hot day in the Southern California desert

Reigning Indian Wells champion Norrie was put out on Court 5 for his opening match, but the British No 1 showed his mental toughness to dispatch Spain’s Pedro Martinez 6-3 6-3.

Norrie will face Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in a repeat of last year’s final in the next round.

That feeling ?

Dan Evans defeats Coria 6-2 6-0 to advance in the competition ?@BNPPARIBASOPEN | #IndianWells pic.twitter.com/mIFykFeDpf

— ATP Tour (@atptour)

March 12, 2022

Evans flew through his opening clash against Federico Coria, winning 6-2 6-0 to set up a meeting with three-time winner Nadal next.

Newly-crowned world No 1 Daniil Medvedev dispatched Tomas Machac 6-3 6-2 to cruise into the third round.

Medvedev’s powerful serve and almost impenetrable defence proved too much for the Czech qualifier to handle on a hot day in the Southern California desert.

First win as No.1 ?@DaniilMedwed rolls past qualifier Machac 6-3, 6-2 to reach the third round for the fourth consecutive time at #IndianWells pic.twitter.com/HqIOeseH2h

— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN)

March 12, 2022

The Russian received a warm welcome from the crowd on Centre Court when he was introduced as the world’s top men’s player after the match.

“This is the first time I have heard this and people clapped so thanks a lot for the nice welcome,” Medvedev said.

Sabalenka stunned in Californian sun

Aryna Sabalenka committed eight double faults and converted just three of her nine break point opportunities as she was sent tumbling out of Indian Wells

World No 3 Aryna Sabalenka suffered a shock loss in her first match, falling to Italian Jasmine Paolini 2-6 6-3 6-3 in the second round.

The Belarusian was a favourite to win the event after world No 1 Ashleigh Barty and No 2 Barbora Krejcikova withdrew ahead of the start of the WTA 1000 tournament, but she follows Karolina Pliskova and Garbine Muguruza out of the tournament after both top 10 players lost on Friday.

Paolini said she was as surprised as anyone to come out on the winning side of the match.

“I’m so happy. I didn’t expect this moment,” she said. “I’m just happy to be here in the third round. I think I played an amazing match. The crowd was amazing. I enjoyed it very much.”

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