Not only does the Spaniard extend his record for most career Masters 1000 semifinals, but this is now the second-longest hard-court winning streak of his career, too.
In a electric quarterfinal clash between two of the biggest names in the sport, Rafael Nadal survived an upset bid from an inspired Nick Kyrgios at Indian Wells on Thursday, defeating the ultra-talented Australian, 7-6 (0), 5-7, 6-4.
With the victory, Nadal moves through to the 76th Masters 1000 semifinal of his career, extending his record for most appearances in the final four of Masters 1000 events since that level of tournament began in 1990.
MOST CAREER MASTERS 1000 SEMIFINALS:
76: Rafael Nadal
71: Novak Djokovic
66: Roger Federer
33: Andy Murray
32: Andre Agassi
31: Pete Sampras
20: Andy Roddick
Nadal also improves to 19-0 this year, not only extending the best start to a season in his career, but also making it the second-longest hard-court winning streak of his career, surpassing an 18-match hard-court winning streak from 2019, and now only trailing a 30-match hard-court winning streak he put together in 2012 and 2013.
NADAL’S 30-MATCH HARD-COURT WINNING STREAK IN 2012-2013:
4-0 to reach SFs of 2012 Miami (w/o to Murray w/knee injury)
5-0 to win 2013 Indian Wells
5-0 to win 2013 Canada
5-0 to win 2013 Cincinnati
7-0 to win 2013 US Open
4-0 to reach F of 2013 Beijing (l. to Djokovic)
Maria Sharapova Leaves A Storied Legacy
Clenched fist, true grit: there will never be another Maria Sharapova.
One of only seven women to win all four majors at least once in the Open era, Sharapova’s retirement due to injuries not only robs tennis of one of its the fiercest competitors but also of one of the world’s most recognizable female athletes who transcended her sport and opened tennis up to new markets.
One of the most ferocious baseliners in the women’s game, with a game built around aggressive ground strokes and mental strength, Sharapova won 36 career titles, including five majors, an Olympic silver medal, held the No. 1 ranking for 21 weeks and amassed $38 million in prize money.
But after 28 years of playing tennis, Sharapova’s body can no longer deal with competing at the highest level, she told the New York Times in an interview this week.
One of Sharapova’s biggest assets was her never-say-die attitude, laser-like focus and work ethic, both on and off the court, which has inspired generations of young tennis players.
“She’s great fighter. As dedicated as someone can really be in our sport,” top-ranked Novak Djokovic told reporters in Dubai after he heard the news.
“Maria, you inspired millions of people with your passion for the game and we thank you for that,” rising Russian star Karen Khachanov wrote on Twitter. “You have set an example for everybody in many ways. Humble, determined and a true champion.
Just 17, Sharapova had become a global star virtually overnight when she defeated then two-time champion Serena Williams of the U.S. in the finals of Wimbledon in 2004. A year later, Sharapova rose to the No. 1 ranking, the first woman from Russia to do so.
Rafael Nadal reveals key to his success in 2022
Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal thinks his ability to adapt his game has been one of the biggest reason behind his early success in 2022. Nadal, who played just one event in the second part of the 2021 season due to a foot injury, is having a stunning comeback to tennis.
Nadal is 15-0 in 2022 as he has claimed titles at the Melbourne Summer Set, Australian Open and Acapulco. Nadal will be 36 in a few months but he is still a dominant force and absolutely one of the best players on the Tour.
“I have always been able to find a way to adapt my game when I have needed to become better,” Nadal said in his pre-tournament press conference in Indian Wells. “Some days I have played aggressively, some days I have played a little more defensively and more tactically.
“My serve has been working well, which is important at this stage in my career. Then I think I have been brave enough to play with the right determination when needed. I am just working hard to continue to improve, but I am happy with the level of tennis and intensity I am showing on court”.
Nadal aims a fourth Indian Wells title
Nadal captured his first Indian Wells title in 2007, while his second Indian Wells title came two years later. Nadal’s hasn’t enjoyed a victorious run in Indian Wells ever since he defeated Juan Martin del Potro in the 2013 Indian Wells final.
Nadal is back to playing an outstanding tennis and he arrived to Indian Wells among top favorites for the title. Nadal’s big rival, Novak Djokovic, wasn’t allowed to enter the United States. Nadal took the advantage of Djokovic’s absence from the Australian Open and collected a record 21st Grand Slam title. It remains to be seen if Nadal can continue his outstanding season and win Indian Wells.
Rafael Nadal returns to practice court ahead of Roland Garros
The 21-time Major winner Rafael Nadal is preparing for his 18th Roland Garros. The season’s second Major starts next week, and Rafa is back on the practice court at home in Mallorca, doing his best to recover from a foot injust and stand a chance in Paris.
Nadal has won 13 of the previous 17 Roland Garros titles, experiencing only three losses at his beloved tournament and hoping to regain the title he lost to Novak Djokovic a year ago. Rafa missed the second part of the 2021 season due to a foot injury, experiencing it in the Roland Garros semi-final against Novak and playing two more matches by the end of the season.
Like many times before, Nadal made a perfect comeback and scored 20 wins from the opening 20 encounters in 2022.
Rafael Nadal is back on the court following the latest setback in Rome.
Rafa secured the 21st Major crown at the Australian Open to write history books and remained undefeated until the Indian Wells final.
Struggling with a rib injury, the Spaniard missed six weeks and skipped his favorite tournaments in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. The king of clay returned to action in Madrid and Rome, and he failed to deliver his best tennis.
Rafa won two matches in Madrid before losing to a young gun Carlos Alcaraz in three sets in the quarter-final. Hoping for a better run in Rome, Nadal toppled John Isner before experiencing a 1-6, 7-5, 6-2 loss to Denis Shapovalov in two hours and 37 minutes.
Rafa barely finished the match without retiring, struggling with foot pain since the middle of the second set and standing no chance in the decider. With dark clouds gathered over his Roland Garros preparations, Nadal hit the practice court on Monday and will travel to Paris on Wednesday alongside his doctor.
Rafa has been the dominant figure in Paris since making a debut at 18 in 2005, winning the title in his first visit and becoming the last teenager with a Major crown. Nadal claimed nine out of ten Roland Garros titles between 2005 and 2014 and became the most successful player at a single Major in history.
After two poor runs in 2015 and 2016, Nadal restored the order and secured four more titles between 2017 and 2020 to extend his tally to 13! Seeking the 14th Parisian Major last June, Rafa lost an epic semi-final to Novak Djokovic in over four hours.
Novak Djokovic, Jelena determined to ensure all Serbian kids have access to preschool
The Novak Djokovic Foundation continues to impact the lives of people in Serbia as the world No. 1 and his wife Jelena have been very active during this year’s Season of Giving. Djokovic and his wife Jelena have been raising funds for the opening of a new preschool in Nis, Serbia.
The Novak Djokovic Foundation has the goal of making preschool available to all Serbian children in the next 10 years. “This and the previous year have further demonstrated how important it is for children to attend preschool, particularly in a situation when parents are forced to work from home, and are not able to adequately dedicate their time to children.
However, it should not be forgotten that there are still those who are not able to go to preschool, even in normal circumstances,” Jelena said, per Tennis Up To Date,
The Djokovic family determined to help Nis
“Nis is a lovely city with unique culture whose citizens have been recognized both domestically and abroad.
We have great memories from this city and we are happy that, this Season of Giving, we are raising funds for a new preschool there, thus enabling children and their families to dream big. Reconstructing the old building of the local community and turning it into a beautiful, modern preschool will give 100 children an opportunity to get the best possible start in life and it will also help their parents to have more time for themselves and their careers.
With love and light, we thank you for your support. Let’s go together for another victory,” Jelena added. Meanwhile, Djokovic kicked off his preparation for the 2022 season in Belgrade. Djokovic signed up to play the ATP Cup and Australian Open but there is no guarantee that the Serb will indeed play at Melbourne Park.
Djokovic is a record nine-time Australian Open champion and not having him at Melbourne Park would be a major blow for the tournament.
Petar Popovic: “Novak Djokovic made a mistake against Carlos Alcaraz, because ..”
In a recent interview with L’Equipe, Serbian coach Petar Popovic analyzed the defeat suffered by Novak Djokovic against Carlos Alcaraz in the Mutua Madrid Open 2022. Djokovic showed signs of recovery at the Mutua Madrid Open, losing in the semifinals to a wild Carlos Alcaraz.
In what was the best game of 2022 (at least so far), the Serbian only surrendered to the decisive tiebreak and proved to be on the right track. After coming close to the ‘Calendar Grand Slam’ last year, the 34-year-old from Belgrade has had to contend with a lot of difficulties at the start of the season.
Due to his choice not to get vaccinated against Coronavirus, the 20-time Grand Slam champion was unable to defend his title at the Australian Open and suffered serious damage to his image. Strict US regulations forced him to skip the Indian Wells and Miami Masters 1000s as well.
The world number 1 has repeatedly reiterated that his great goal is to reach 100% at Roland Garros, where he will be called upon to defend the title won in 2021.
Petar Popovic: “Novak Djokovic made a mistake against Carlos Alcaraz”
Petar analyzed: “Novak Djokovic had a great match, but struggled tremendously to return Carlos Alcaraz’s serve.
He should have moved closer to the pitch to prevent the ball from rising too much. Nole is probably the best nerker of all time, but he got his position completely wrong in Saturday’s game. He was too far behind and suffered a damn kick from Carlos from the left.
Madrid’s altitude did the rest, forcing him to strike almost at head level. It was not a technical problem, it was a positioning error. I did not understand why Goran Ivanisevic did not suggest him to approach, it was the key to the challenge.
In any case, I believe Djokovic has made significant progress in all aspects of the game. I am more and more convinced that he will arrive at Roland Garros in the best conditions.”
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