Rafael Nadal moves to 18-0 for the season to reach the quarter-finals at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells; the Australian Open champion will next take on Nick Kyrgios; Britain’s Cameron Norrie continues his title defence by also advancing through to last eight

Last Updated: 17/03/22 8:51am

Rafael Nadal and Cameron Norrie are both through to the quarter-finals at Indian Wells

Rafael Nadal and Cameron Norrie are both through to the quarter-finals at Indian Wells

Rafael Nadal overcame American Reilly Opelka to claim an 18th consecutive win this season on his way to the quarter-finals at Indian Wells, Britain’s Cameron Norrie also advanced to continue his title defence.

Nadal, a three-time champion in the desert, became the second player in ATP Tour history to start a season 18-0, edging Opelka 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-5).

Only Novak Djokovic has made a better start to the season when he went 26-0 to begin 2020 and 41-0 to open 2011.

“I think I played my best match of the tournament so far today,” Nadal said. “I am very pleased with how I was able to win the match, with two difficult tie-breaks. This victory means a lot to me.

Next for Nadal will be a meeting with Australian Nick Kyrgios, who advanced by walkover after Italian Jannik Sinner withdrew from the tournament due to illness.

“Nick is playing great. He is one of the toughest opponents on Tour,” Nadal noted. “Everyone knows how good he is when he is motivated. It is going to be a good test for me and good challenge. I am excited to be in the quarter-finals.”

Cameron Norrie now faces Carlos Alcaraz in the quarter-finals

Cameron Norrie now faces Carlos Alcaraz in the quarter-finals

British No 1 Norrie secured a 6-2 6-4 win over American Jenson Brooksby to book his quarter-final spot.

Norrie raced into a 4-0 lead as he eased through the opening set against his 21-year-old opponent before Brooksby broke Norrie in a marathon second game of the second.

Norrie then recovered from 3-0 down to win the next four games, but was broken again to level it up at 4-4. He secured the decisive break of serve in the ninth game before serving out the match to love.

The Brit will play Spanish world No 19 Carlos Alcaraz in the quarter-finals after the 18-year-old earned a 7-5 6-1 victory over Gael Monfils.

Unseeded Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic stunned world No 6 Matteo Berrettini 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 to set up a quarter-final meeting with American Taylor Fritz.

Serbian Kecmanovic absorbed his opponent’s power serve in the first set, converting on a break-point chance in the fourth game, as a frustrated Berrettini won just eight return points.

But Kecmanovic, 22, was unable to close out the match as a break-point opportunity slipped through his fingers late in the second set, in which Berrettini, who reached his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon last year, struck 21 winners and won a tense tie-break to level.

Berrettini saved two breaks in the eighth game in a tightly fought final set to stay alive but Kecmanovic pounced to break the Italian’s serve to love in the final game.

He will next play Fritz who outlasted Australian Alex de Minaur 3-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

Grigor Dimitrov made it through to the quarter-finals for the second year running after he beat John Isner 6-3 7-6 (7-6). Dimitro’s opponent will be Andrey Rublev.

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