© Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal battles past Sebastian Korda at Indian Wells to set a third-round clash against Daniel Evans.

Why Rafael Nadal Never Gives Up

Three-time Indian Wells champion reflects on comeback win against Korda

Rafael Nadal struggled on Saturday at the BNP Paribas Open against Sebastian Korda, admitting that he “thought I was lost”. But regardless of how he feels, there is one constant in Nadal’s game — his fighting spirit.

That does not mean he expected to come back from two breaks down in the final set against Korda, though.

“If the people believe that I am a believer all the time that I [am] going to come back, [it is] not true. I am not this,” Nadal said. “I don't have this amazing self-confidence that even if I am 5-2, ‘Okay, I [am] going to come back. No’,” Nadal said. “In my mind is, ‘Okay, it’s almost impossible. I don't want to give up. I’m going to keep trying. But I know it's going to be almost impossible. Let's try to let him win, not help him to win. Just try to keep going and to put the things a little bit more difficult to the opponent.”

According to the three-time Indian Wells champion, he was still “super lucky” to find a way through against the home favourite inside a raucous Stadium 1 in the California desert.

“[The] normal thing with this kind of match, in that position from 100 matches, probably you [are] going to lose 90,” Nadal said. “But if you give up, you're going to lose 100. If you are there, you can win 10 per cent.”

Nadal’s fighting spirit is one of the most impressive attributes in all of sports. But why, even in the most dire of circumstances, does the lefty battle so hard?

“The reason why I have been fighting during all my tennis career or I have the right self-control or I have the right attitude or fighting spirit during my whole tennis career is simple,” Nadal said. “Because I grew with this kind of education.

“My uncle, my family, never allowed me to break a racquet, never allowed me to say bad words or throw or give up a match. Probably when I was a kid, they didn't care much about winning or losing.”

You May Also Like: Nadal Comes Back From Brink To Crush Korda's Dream

The Spaniard added that his family always wanted him to win. However, they cared even more about how he carried himself through the good times and the bad on court.

“The most important thing was the education and the fact that I grow with the values, with the right values,” Nadal said. “I didn't have many chances. I had to do it that way. If not, I will not play tennis. Honestly. If I went on court and I created a circus or broke a racquet or lost my control, my self-control, I would not be playing the next tournament, without a doubt. That's probably why I have this mentality.”

While the fourth seed is happy he was able to claw into the third round, he knows he will have to raise his level if he hopes to improve to 17-0 on the season. Nadal next faces tricky Briton Daniel Evans, the 27th seed.

“I need to play better because I didn't play well,” Nadal said. “I will work tomorrow to try to be ready.”

📧 For all the official news and exclusive interviews, sign up to our newsletters

More stories like this in: