Indian Wells: Medvedev debuts as world no. 1, Nadal struggles for first win
- Medvedev swiftly beat Tomas Machac with a tally of 6-3, 6-2
- Medvedev won 80% of his first-serve points on Saturday
- Rafael Nadal eyes his fourth Indian Wells title
Daniil Medvedev, who was playing for the first time as world number 1 on Saturday, beat his Czech opponent Tomas Machac in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open. The game swiftly ended with a score of 6-3, 6-2.
"I think I was pretty consistent," Medvedev said after the game ended. The Russian won 80% of his first-serve points and saved the lone break point he faced.
"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", he added, according to ATP.
Medvedev received a trophy earlier this week to mark his jump to the top spot of ATP Tour rankings after Novak Djokovic was pulled down. The Serbian player was not permitted to participate in the competition due to COVID-19 vaccination rules in the United States.
Medvedev is among players from Russia and Belarus competing at Indian Wells without flags, symbols or anthems as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The decision to eliminate their national identity was made by the International Tennis Federation and both tours.
Not so easy for Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal, however, won his first game at the Indian Wells with a lot of hardships. He got pushed to the limit by practice partner Sebastian Korda before winning 6-2, 1-6, 7-6 (3), giving Nadal a 16-0 record this year. The Spanish player aims to get his fourth title in the competition.
“I started to play a little bit more crosscourt with my forehand and with having a little bit more of calm,” Nadal said. “He made a couple of mistakes and I was able to save myself", according to reports from Associated Press.
Nadal trailed 5-2 in the third set before winning four straight games with two breaks of Korda to take a 6-5 lead. Korda held at 6-all to force the tiebreaker.