From Serena Williams retiring early from the tournament to fans getting autographs from their tennis idols, these are the moments from week one of BNP
Rafael Nadal has had little trouble with his opponents so far at the BNP Paribas Open. The table in the media room? That’s another question.
Nadal, who dispatched Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals, was in the middle of his post-match news conference when a muffled thud was heard and Nadal let out a wail. He had banged his foot on one of the bars under the table.
He was in some pain, but ever the trooper, as he rubbed his foot he continued to answer questions.
“Good. Probably played a little bit worse today than yesterday. Maybe because of the conditions, windier out there today,” said Nadal, who has won his three matches without losing a set. “But in general terms have been a positive victory again. Happy the way I played.”
His opponent was a dangerous one, having already beaten No. 20 David Goffin and No. 14 Daniil Medvedev in this tournament.
But Nadal, who missed last year’s BNP Paribas Open with an injury, continues to look as strong and healthy as he has in a while here in the desert. Blistering forehands, fluid movement, and as the No. 2 seed, Nadal is the highest-ranked player remaining in the field after Novak Djokovic’s Round of 32 ouster Tuesday.
Nadal said seeing a top seed fall doesn’t really surprise him these days, especially at a tournament like this with all the best players in the mix.
“That’s tennis. Is nothing new, and it’s something that really happened a lot in the past. Is true that for the last 10 years didn’t happen very often, but is normal,” Nadal said. “The difference between players are not — is not huge, you know? It’s small gaps. Anything can happen in this sport, and especially in these kind of events that top 50 players are playing.”
Nadal, now 32, advances to play the winner of the match later Wednesday between American John Isner and Karen Khachanov.
He’s vying for his fourth title at the BNP Paribas Open, having won here in 2007, 2009 and 2013. He has not reached the final, though, since that 2013 title.