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Rafael Nadal emerges victorious against Donald Young; faces Gilles Simon in Round of 16

Nadal progressed to the Round of 16 at Indian Wells after an error-strewn display against American Donald Young.

Rafa Nadal plays a backhand in his win over Donald Young 

Round 3: Rafael Nadal defeated Donald Young 6-4, 6-2

Nadal comes back from a break down in the first set

Nadal progressed to the Round of 16 at Indian Wells after an error-strewn display against American Donald Young. Both players made a lot of unforced errors, and exchanged a lot of service breaks, but ultimately Nadal emerged victorious.

Young started proceedings and started with an easy service hold and Nadal held comfortably as well. Young was playing aggressive and on the offense, but Nadal held his own, in spite of hitting a few forehands wide. But in a surprise turn of events, Nadal conceded break point with a double fault and then mishit an easy overhead to give Donald Young the first break of the match. He led 3-1.

Nadal didn’t have to struggle too much to break though. The American, conceded two break points and made few unforced errors and gifted the break right back to Nadal. Nadal continued to make unforced errors regularly and was down a break point again. Young failed to convert and Nadal capitalized and brought the match back on serve.

The conditions were windy and both players were hitting the ball as hard as they could, and in spite of that, the ball changed its trajectory mid-air. Young made few more mistakes, and Nadal got his second break of the match to lead 4-3. The Spaniard was erratic as well, and in spite of being on top of three points, he lost all of them and was down three break points in the next game. He saved one, but served another double fault, failing to consolidate the break.

The twists and turns in the set continued, as Young was down three break points and he hit at the net to give Nadal another break of serve, and leaving him to serve for the set. Nadal finally brought out a good serving game, and he held on and took the first set 6-4. He had just one winner in the set, but 15 unforced errors. 

Too many unforced errors proved costly for Young

Young started the second set with even more errors, conceding three more break points. He managed to save one, but hit wide on the next point, shouting in frustration at his struggles.

Nadal wasn’t better off either. He continued to make mistakes in between good points. He was down a break point again, but managed to save it with an overhead smash. Young didn’t give in, as he attacked the net, and then broke back with a net cord winner. It was three breaks in a row in the second set, as Young continued to make errors on both sides and easily conceded another break with a double fault.

Nadal didn’t falter this time, he consolidated the break, with further assistance from Young. He continued to inflict more damage on himself as he double faulted his way to another service break, to give Nadal a 4-1 lead.

The Spaniard served a couple of good first serves and forehand winners and went within a game of winning the match. Young was serving to stay in the match, and in spite of pressure from the world no.3, managed to hold on. 

Nadal finished strongly, as he made Young run to both ends, finally finishing with a wide forehand winner. It wasn’t easy, but he got the job done at the end. He will now face Gilles Simon for a spot in the quarterfinals.

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