Nadal Defeats Krajinovic To Reach Indian Wells Quarter-finals

Spaniard eyes his fourth title in the desert

Rafael Nadal was large and in charge on Wednesday at the BNP Paribas Open, dismissing Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-4 to reach the Indian Wells quarter-finals for the first time in three years.

The three-time champion’s weight of shot kept the World No. 113 anchored several feet behind the baseline and stretched the Serb wide in the court. The 33-time ATP Masters 1000 champion broke in the second game of the first set to race to a 3-0 lead. Facing his first break point of the tournament, Nadal dropped serve for 3-2 but immediately broke back. 

In the second set Nadal broke in the third game and dictated thereafter, never giving his opponent an opening back into the match.

Having dropped a combined six games in his first two wins over Jared Donaldson and Diego Schwartzman, Nadal wasn't fully satisfied after conceding seven games today. "I probably played a little bit worse today than yesterday. Maybe because of the conditions, [it was] windier out there today. But in general terms [it's] been a positive victory again. Happy the way I played."

Nadal is now one win away from keeping his part of the bargain to set a blockbuster semi-final with Roger Federer, who plays his fourth-round match later today against Britain’s Kyle Edmund.

Although World No. 2 Nadal is more than 3,500 points behind No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the ATP Rankings, should he win the title he will overtake the Serb in first place in the ATP Race To London, a predictor of the year-end ATP Rankings.

Nadal next faces reigning Rolex Paris Masters champion Karen Khachanov, who extended his Masters 1000 winning streak to nine matches by defeating big-serving American John Isner 6-4, 7-6(1).

You May Also Like: 10 Things To Know About Karen Khachanov

Khachanov has an 0-5 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Nadal, but he did push the Spaniard all the way when they last met in the US Open third round, where Nadal toughed out a 5-7, 7-5, 7-6(7), 7-6(3) win.

Did You Know?
Nadal reached the Indian Wells semi-finals or better for eight straight years between 2006 and 2013, when he won the last of his three BNP Paribas Open crowns.