Though Nadal, a 14-time Grand Slam champion, has now lost six straight matches and 13 straight sets to Djokovic, this match still represented progress. He was badly beaten, 6-1, 6-2, in their earlier meeting this year in the final of the Qatar Open. Nadal went on to lose in the first round of the Australian Open and entered the Indian Wells tournament 0-4 against opponents ranked in the top 50 this year.
- Nadal Taking Positives From SF Defeat | BNP Paribas Open
“If I am able to play weeks in a row at this level, then you start to think about the chances to compete for everything,” said Nadal, a 14-time Grand Slam champion. “My confidence was good. When somebody’s playing well like I was playing, you go on court and you think that you can play well again. So that’s important for me, be confident with myself on court. I did I think for a lot of moments.”
- Nadal Gains Confidence In Indian Wells | ATP World Tour
To the Spaniard, the mere fact that he’s consistently advancing deep enough into tournaments so that he can play Djokovic encourages him, Nadal said. “If I play against him it’s because I am in semi-finals and finals, so that’s very positive news,” Nadal said. “Even if I lose, [it’s] great news.”
- So Much Closer, But Still So Far Away | tennis.com
This was the first time Rafa had pushed Djokovic to a tiebreaker in any set since he beat him in the French Open final in 2014. That may sound like a small victory, but those are the only kinds you get against Djokovic these days.
Later, Nadal was asked if he was frustrated about losing so many times to Djokovic. Rafa smiled and said, “So everybody’s frustrated?” He’s not the only one.
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