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FILE PHOTO: Mar 16, 2022; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Rafael Nadal (ESP) hits a shot as he defeats Reilly Opelka (USA) in the fourth round at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

March 18, 2022

(Reuters) – Rafa Nadal dug deep to beat mercurial wildcard Nick Kyrgios 7-6(0) 5-7 6-4 in a blockbuster quarter-final match that lived up to the hype at Indian Wells on Thursday.

Despite not playing his best, the Spaniard managed to deliver in the match’s biggest moments and maintain his composure as his opponent threw his racket and jawed with the chair umpire, fans and himself.

Nadal is now 19-0 to start the season and if he can win his fourth title in the California desert, the 21-time Grand Slam champion will move into a tie with Novak Djokovic for the most Masters 1000 titles with 37.

He will face either teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz of Spain or British defending champion Cameron Norrie in Saturday’s semi-finals.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; editing by Richard Pullin)

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