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Indian Wells 2022: Rafael Nadal vs Sebastian Korda preview, head-to-head and prediction| BNP Paribas Open

Rafael Nadal takes on Sebastian Korda in the second round of the Indian Wells Masters
Rafael Nadal takes on Sebastian Korda in the second round of the Indian Wells Masters
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Neelabhra Roy

Match Details

Fixture: (4) Rafael Nadal vs Sebastian Korda

Date: 12 March 2022

Tournament: BNP Paribas Open

Round: Second round (Round of 64)

Venue: Indian Wells, California, USA

Category: ATP Masters 1000

Surface: Outdoor Hardcourt

Prize money: $8,369,455

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video | India- Voot (Only ATP)

Rafael Nadal vs Sebastian Korda preview

Rafael Nadal is among the favorites to win the Indian Wells Masters this year
Rafael Nadal is among the favorites to win the Indian Wells Masters this year

Fourth seed Rafael Nadal will square off against Sebastian Korda in the second round of the Indian Wells Masters on Saturday.

The Spaniard has had an extraordinary start to the 2022 season, winning all of his 15 matches so far. Nadal started the year by winning the Melbourne Summer Set 1 without dropping a set. He beat qualifier Maxime Cressy in the final.

The 35-year-old then competed at the Australian Open and reached the quarterfinals following wins over Marcos Giron, Yannick Hanfmann, Karen Khachanov and Adrian Mannarino. He then fought off Denis Shapovalov and Matteo Berrettini to book his place in the final, where his opponent was Daniil Medvedev.

Nadal bounced back from two sets down to win a thrilling final and a record 21st Grand Slam title.

The Spaniard then competed at the Mexican Open as the fourth seed. He reached the semifinals after beating Denis Kudla, Stefan Kozlov and Tommy Paul. Nadal then beat Medvedev for the second time this year to set up a clash with Cameron Norrie in the final. He triumphed over the Brit in straight sets to win his fourth title in Acapulco.

Nadal downs Norrie in straight sets to claim fourth Acapulco title reut.rs/3JXxF7V https://t.co/SJxMG2xdKi

Korda had a promising start to the season by beating 12th seed Cameron Norrie in the first round of the Australian Open. The American then beat Corentin Moutet to reach the third round, where he lost to Pablo Carreno Busta.

Korda then entered the Delray Beach Open as the fifth seed and reached the quarterfinals following wins over Thanasi Kokkinakis and Andreas Seppi. However, he was knocked out by eventual champion Norrie in the last eight.

The American suffered a first-round exit at the Mexican Open after losing to Dusan Lajovic in three sets.

At Indian Wells, Korda faced qualifier Kokkinakis in the first round and had little trouble beating the Aussie.

Sebastian Korda knocks out Thanasi Kokkinakis in straight sets and will take on Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal next πŸ”₯Can Korda stun the 21-time Grand Slam winner? #SebastianKorda #ThanasiKokkinakis #RafaelNadal #IndianWells #Tennis https://t.co/VXEB97FKCo

Rafael Nadal vs Sebastian Korda head-to-head

Saturday's match at Indian Wells will be the second meeting between Nadal and Korda. The Spaniard leads the head-to-head 1-0 after beating Korda in straight sets in the fourth round at Roland Garros in 2020.

Rafael Nadal vs Sebastian Korda prediction

Nadal will enter the contest as the overwhelming favorite given his red-hot form over the past couple of months. However, Korda is a fine young talent who has his best years ahead of him and cannot be written off.

The 21-year-old will rely mostly on his powerful serve and groundstrokes to try to put pressure on Nadal. However, he might need to take a measured approach to avoid too many unforced errors.

Nadal's all-round game is good enough to intimidate even the most experienced opponents. His most dependable weapon is his forehand, with which he will look to dictate the match against the American.

Korda is gradually rising up the rankings but will have to play out of his skin to trouble the 21-time Major winner.

Prediction: Rafael Nadal to win in straight sets.


Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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