PHOTOS: Rafael Nadal beats Alexander Zverev to book Indian Wells quarter-final place

Rafael Nadal booked a spot in the quarters in Indian Wells with a 6-7(8), 6-0, 7-5 victory over Alexander Zverev.

Rafa was on the brink of defeat as Zverev served at 5-4, 40/30 in the decider. But the teenager netted a forehand volley on match point and from there, Rafa took control. Our champ won 15 of the final 16 points to claim the dramatic victory.

Rafa improved to 11-4 on the season, and 47-8 lifetime at Indian Wells with the win.

Source: BNP Paribas Open

38 comments

  1. I am wondering when we hear from Dear Uncle Toni that Rafa didn’t deserve to with this match and it was pure luck that Rafa won. all those crap comments by Toni Nadal have make Rafa insecure and demoralized to the extent that Rafa steps into court expecting to lose. Rafa need to hire a coach, work on damn serve and get a professional help from a psychologist.

  2. firstly congrats rafa for great victory ………..after so many days i am relieved now, tomorrow what ever happens i don’t care since rafa has played good matches against first two tricky opponent and the a youngster

    the brilliant thing was rafa was consistently winning long rallies won 21 rallies shot the 26 shot and the 30 shot …………….and in all those rallies he was able to turn defense into attack and showed wonderful display of defense, which i think is the key, its been a long i have seen rafa winning long rallies many times in a match, rafa gets lot of confidence from winning that long rallies….rafa served tactically sometimes on some occasions

    rafa able to hit go spinning forehands with power with good positions, actually i want rafa to once more see his down the line forehands hitting positions of this match in a video ..it was perfect

    still rafa needs to serve a little quicker than what he his serving now and should practice down the tee serves …………….he still need to serve tactically on important points
    one more thing rafa needs to improve on shot selection he don’t need to hit down the line forehand when rafa near nets when opponent on the down the line side instead he should hit cross court forehand with good angle ……………….i feel it will come with more matches he play

    tomorrow what ever happens he should just enjoy the match since he was able to control the nerves consistently for 3 matches and he was just focusing on next point ……………actually after long time even when rafa trailing in 3rd set i felt he would win the match
    though i felt he should have not drop his service game for 2 nd time in third set

    so once again rafa just have good free time ……..enter the court with same attitude u played last three matches with little more anger ……just consider him a opponent who u most often times able to dictate in past matches and win over it ………..think of madrid open u played against him and u were able to turn up the match

    vamos rafa enjoy the match tomorrow what ever the result………..i am sure u will keep on improving and please be with francis till monte carlo and give toni some rest to refresh his mind

  3. Congratulations, RAFA. I was nervous & screaming like the old days with you. One match @ a time! Love you! Didn’t love Zverev’s seeming lack of respect @ handshake. These young players think who they are! You’re one of the greatest to ever play the game!

  4. I am already a big fan of Zverev and root for himself except against Rafa. The match was truly a roller coaster with Rafa playing great and poorly. I really was preparing myself for a loss at 5-2, so I am very happy. I think this win was great for Rafa’s diminished confidence. Now, he needs to take his fighting spirit against Kei.

  5. What can we say? The negatives first: Rafa was almost kicked out by this youngster (he had it on his racket), which is once more a sign that he’s not even close to his best. He did lose a few matches in the last 20 months that he should have won, so there is some justice. The positives are that Nadal looks more fired up, he looks like he wants to win, instead of wanting not to lose. He’s rallying and hitting the ball for real. The most positive is that he now has the chance to make a step forward. He should be beat Kei and he should really win this tournament (don’t give me BS like “playing a good match vs Djokovic is also already great news”). He needs this trophy. That is the remedy that he probably needs to become a great player again. It would give him a huge mental boost. And as we all know, apart from a new coach (note: it’s not Toni who is the main coach in IW!), a mental boost is what he needs for more than two years already!

    • You’re damn right! Rafa needs this trophy!!! He needs to end up losing to Djokovic. He gotta beat Nole!

      • Yeah I remember in 2013 after he beat Delpo – a match I was fortunate enough to watch in the stadium together with my granddaughters – in IW, he said it felt as one of the biggest wins of his career. IW is one of the masters that comes closest to the majors, the stadium is friggin’ huge folks.

  6. Well done Rafa just take it one day at a time you know you have the ability to win so just keep on fighting every step of the way
    Watching you is so nerve wracking but exciting as we all so desperately want you to win all your matches but win or lose you are always our champ !!

  7. BRILLIANT FIGHTING SPIRIT CHAMPION ,BREATH TAKING MATCH ,RAFA AND HIS FIGHTING SPIRIT…..NEVER GIVE UP GOT HIM THAT THIRD SET AND GREAT CONTROL,….VAMOS CHAMPION YOUR HARD WORKING IS VERY OPEN FOR ALL TO SEE, GOD BLESS YOU.

  8. What a great fight. Take rest and than all the best for your match against Nishikori. Vamos Rafa!!!

  9. Rafa should have won that first set. Up 8-7 in the tiebreak, he served a beauty into Alex’a body, only to completely muff up the simple down the line forehand. Score was tied at 8-8, and you felt the energy drain from Rafa’s feet.

    Great second set, but I wonder why there are such wild swings in momentum in Rafa’s matches. The third set was such a roller-coaster. Whoever is coaching Rafa needs to tell him the importance of not taking his foot off the gas pedal. It’s Nishikoro tomorrow, and unlike last opponents, Kei will not bungle simple opportunities to close out a match.

  10. Congratulations Rafa my boy. As I expected, the young gun was very good, but you showed your class n fighting spirit n confidence – you played like the Rafa of old which we your fans know so well n love you for it. Nishikori is a tough opponent n I feel you will have to serve strongly .. Aces! I am right now watching him play John Isner. Good luck n Vamos Rafa in the Qtr Finals. God bless you. Your Aussie Abuela. xxx 😀😊😇🎈🎈

  11. Rafa you are such a fighter, today you really played exceptionally well and I’m so happy you have all the experience as a champion to win that match what a comeback. You never give up to the last point and won today. I’m so proud of you and I was so happy to see you enjoying yourself with all those fist pumps and celebrating your winning points Way to go Rafa ! Gotta love you for all the joy and excitement you bring on court for me to enjoy ! Good luck next rounds !

  12. Rafa was simply outstanding in the first 2 sets, played exeptionally well, and then nearly imploded in the 3rd. In the end, it was Shasha’s inexperience that benefitted Rafa. Hope that the victory gives him a confidence boost though, he will need to step up his game tomorrow against Nishikori

    • Your comments are not only insidious, but are invidiously insidious lacking in depth and cerebral reasoning.
      I see that you’ve wisely stopped abusing anybody on this site! That’s is at least a thing or two to commend about. Indeed, i can see that the fear of the Prophet is indeed the beginning of Abu Parker’s wisdom.

      To all fans of Rafa, here’s is a freebie from the Prophet – Rafa to defeat Kei in straight sets, one tight and one easy e.g 6-3, 7-5

      So it has been written, so shall it be.

  13. change the color of your outfit rafa.it is very light and soft. it will reflect to your game.

  14. I didn’t watch the match but following the scoreline on my phone. The 3rd set I cursed Rafa for being so stubborn and refusing to hire a new coach and myself for being Rafa’s fan. but I’m really happy that he won. Every loss demoralizes him more and kills his fragile confidence.

    • Chill out dude, we’re all in that same boat 🙂 Hopefully today’s game will help with his confidence, he’ll need it against Nishikori who played a strong come-back game against Isner

  15. Well, what can I say, except absolutely breathtaking Rafa, you had to and did fight hard against a very talented young player, who surely has the talent to climb up the rankings at a very fast rate. Vamos and all the very best for your next match.👍👍👏👏

  16. YES 😃👍 You rock sweet Rafa ❤️ Congratulations on your great win 🎾💪
    All the best of luck in the quarter final – VAMOS champ 😊😘

  17. What a breath-taking match. That third set was so riveting. My heartbeat was racing as if I was on the court. Relentless Rafa, once again, “Loved it!”

    I must say the teen-ager, Alex has game. I give him such credit for fighting a great battle against his idol. Rafa was just magnificent when he was trailing in the third set,
    bringing the heat and demonstrating that never say die attitude! Vamos Rafa.

    • What a felief to see Rafa winning finally. In the third set i was about to loose my heart and disappionted. What a recovery and sheer relentness and courage by our champion.We should now have full confidence Rafa can still be on the top. Rafa your are fighter and we all love this spirit of yours.

  18. YEH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) CONGRATULATIONS DEAR RAFA ON YOUR FANTASTIC POWERFUL VICTORY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) 😉 😉 😉 : ) : ) : ) Watching your eagerness & brilliant focus all the way to the end is like a treat second to none!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : ) : ) YOU ARE THE BEST SWEETHEART !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) SO VERY HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) 🙂 😉 ; ) : ) Your TOP COMPETITIVE GAME IS VERY SPECIAL ….full of Tennis intelligent & beautiful game read……VAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) 🙂 Have a beautiful evening & enjoy your great efforts & solid game celebrating with THE TEAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) 🙂 : ) Lots of love & happiness & VAMOS ALL THE WAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! : ) : ) : ) : )

  19. VAMOS RAFA.💖 ALL THE WAY.

    LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE YOU ALWAYS.

    JUST KEEP PLAYING THE SAME WAY AS YOU DID TODAY.

    LOVED THE LIL JIG YOU DID ON THE COURTS.

    ALWAYS KEEP SMILING.😊.

  20. A true Champ… Vamos vamos Rafa! I have to work in the morning at 8am but it doesn’t matter! This was worth watching every shot! Well done! Vamos Rafa and goodnight!

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