Indian Wells Daily Preview: Rafael Nadal Clashes with Nick Kyrgios in the Quarterfinals - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

Indian Wells Daily Preview: Rafael Nadal Clashes with Nick Kyrgios in the Quarterfinals

Published

on

Rafael Nadal after his fourth round win on Wednesday (twitter.com/bnpparibasopen)

Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios do not like each other.  The two have traded several barbs over the years, including Rafa once saying the Australian “lacks respect for the crowd, his opponent, and towards himself.”  They are opposites in many ways, most notably in their preferred pace of play.  In In the Indian Wells quarterfinals, they will meet for the ninth time.

The women’s Spanish No.1 will also be in action on Thursday, as defending champion Paula Badosa takes on one of the WTA’s hottest players this season, Veronika Kudermetova.  The winner of that quarterfinal will face either Maria Sakkari or Elena Rybakina, who also play on Thursday.  And the other ATP quarterfinal on the schedule features the other defending champion, Cam Norrie, taking on the youngest male quarterfinalist since 1989, Carlos Alcaraz.

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Thursday’s play gets underway at 11:00am local time.


Paula Badosa (5) vs. Veronika Kudermetova (21) – Second on Stadium 1

The 2021 champion is on an nine-match win streak in the desert, and hasn’t dropped a set this fortnight.  However, Badosa is 0-3 lifetime against Kudermetova.  That includes a meeting in the qualifying rounds of this event three years ago, and two encounters in 2021.  Badosa has lost six of their seven sets contested.  However, Paula has developed into a much more confident, formidable player since they last met nearly 12 months ago.  And her style of play excels on the slow-playing hard courts of Indian Wells.  But Badosa’s history with Kudermetova is a serious concern, as is Veronika’s recent success.  She’s already reached two finals this season, and is now 5-1 in deciding sets.  Kudermetova’s success at smaller events is yet to translate at WTA 1000 tournaments or Majors, as this is her first time beyond the third round at either.  We’ve seen some surprising results in recent years at Indian Wells, yet a Kudermetova victory on Thursday would not be all that shocking.


Rafael Nadal (4) vs. Nick Kyrgios (WC) – Not Before 3:00pm on Stadium 1

Nadal leads their head-to-head 5-3.  However, Kyrgios has taken both of their encounters on North American hard courts.  That includes a contentious battle three years ago in Acapulco, decided by a third-set tiebreak, as well as a straight set victory five years ago in Cincinnati.  Even though Rafa is an undefeated 18-0 in 2022, he is admittedly at less than 100%, and on Wednesday described how the pain in his left foot is getting worse at this event progresses.  Nick will be fully fresh for this quarterfinal, as he received a walkover on Wednesday from an ill Jannik Sinner.  Even though Kyrgios arrived here only 8-8 over the last 24 months, he’s easily won his first three matches without an opponent winning more than four games in a set.  Coming off his first Major doubles title in Melbourne, Nick has played inspired tennis.  And you know he will be motivated to knock off Nadal.  I like his chances to do just that.


Other Notable Matches on Thursday:

Maria Sakkari (6) vs. Elena Rybakina (17) – Both players are yet to drop a set.  Rybakina won their only previous meeting, two years ago on a hard court in St. Petersburg.   

Cam Norrie (12) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (19) – Despite losing his first four matches of 2022, Norrie has now won 11 of his last 12.  Alcaraz has been dominant through three rounds, dropping 14 games through six sets.  At last year’s US Open, Carlos defeated Cam in straights.


Thursday’s full Order of Play is here.

Focus

Casper Ruud Overcomes ‘Tough Start’ To Set De Minaur Final In Acapulco

Casper Ruud is into his first ATP 500 final after defeating Holger Rune in three sets.

Published

on

(@atptour - Twitter)

Casper Ruud is into his second consecutive final in Mexico after defeating Holger Rune 3-6 6-3 6-4 in Acapulco.

The Norwegian had to overcome an electric start from Rune to prevail in 2 hours and 24 minutes.

It was a clinical performance from Ruud who is now into his second consecutive final in Mexico after reaching the final in Los Cabos last week.

Speaking after the match Ruud admitted it was a tough start but he’s pleased to be in another final, “It was a tough start,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“Holger just came out firing bullets from the forehand, from the backhand and I had not too much time to play my game. I was frustrated at times, especially at the end of the first set, beginning of the second.

“I didn’t really feel like I got to play any points how I wanted to, so there was some frustration towards myself, towards my box, because I didn’t feel like we were doing the right thing.

“But luckily with one break in the second, it turned around a bit and in the third set it got a little physical. I think maybe Holger seemed like he was struggling a little bit and started firing even more and a couple of games it went in and he broke me, which is frustrating.

“Some unforced errors crept up on him and I served really well in the last game to close it out.”

Ruud is now into his first ATP 500 final in Acapulco where he will face defending champion Alex De Minaur.

De Minaur overcame Jack Draper after the Brit retired at 4-0 down in the deciding set.

Heading into Saturday’s final, De Minaur leads the head-to-head 1-0 although that was in a completely different scoring format in the Next Gen Finals.

Whatever happens on Saturday, Ruud will return to the world’s top ten.

Continue Reading

Focus

Andrey Rublev Disqualified In Dramatic Dubai Semi-Final

Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final in Dubai.

Published

on

(@desnan_98 - Twitter)

Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik after being accused of swearing in Russian.

The event took place in Dubai where Rublev had more than enough opportunities to win the match having been 4-2 40-0 up in the deciding set.

However Bublik came back into the match as he caught up with Rublev in what was turning into a fascinating contest.

The score was at 6-5 Bublik when Rublev’s frustrations boiled over when he allegedly told the official at the side of the court that he was a ‘f****** moron’ in Russian.

One of the officials on the sidelines at the side of the court reported the incident and the supervisor ruled that Rublev should be defaulted.

The incident below means that Rublev will now lose all his ranking points and prize money, resulting in Rublev exiting the world’s top five.

An ending that didn’t warrant the dramatic contest and after the match Bublik agreed that the consequences, “I highly doubt Andrey said something crazy,” Bublik was quoted by Sports Illustrated.

“He’s not this kind of guy. But I guess that’s the rules. That’s what they did, they just follow the procedure.”

Bublik will hope for a smoother finish to the final when he takes on Ugo Humbert for the title.

Continue Reading

Focus

Andy Murray Makes Retirement Hint After 500th Hard Court Win In Dubai

Andy Murray won his 500th hard court match in Dubai, placing him fifth on the all-time list.

Published

on

(@the_LTA - Twitter)

Andy Murray further hinted at retirement after securing a 500th hard court win of his career in Dubai.

The former world number one picked up his second win of the year with a 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3 victory over Denis Shapovalov.

In typical Andy Murray fashion, the Brit came back from a set down to defeat the out-of-sorts Canadian as he progressed to the second round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUVj537F-wQ

The win means Murray now has 500 career wins on a hard court and that is an achievement the world number 67 is proud of, “It’s not bad,” Murray told the ATP website as he sits fifth on the all-time list of hard court wins.

“Obviously hard court has been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches so I’m very proud of that. There are not many players that have done that, so great to get to 500 before I’m done.”

However those post-match comments weren’t the most shocking ones as Murray once again hinted at retirement this season.

The Brit has made subtle remarks that this year may be his last one but Murray’s comments today suggests that he may have already made his decision, “I probably don’t have too long left but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months,” Murray was quoted by ESPN as saying.

“I still love competing and still love the game but it gets harder and harder to compete the older you get, to keep your body fit and fresh.”

If the end is near for Murray than the Brit will look to end his career on a high for the next few months.

Before thinking about retirement Murray will look to go further in Dubai when he takes on either Ugo Humbert or Gael Monfils in the second round.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending