Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - Rafael Nadal plays Diego Schwartzman in the 3rd round of the BNP Paribas Open in Stadium 1 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)
In his second match of the 2019 BNP Paribas Open, Rafael Nadal made quick work of his opposition yet again. Taking just over an hour and fifteen minutes, the Spaniard outplayed Diego Schwartzman on his way to a 6-3, 6-1 victory.
While the Argentinian managed to hold serve on his way to a 3-3 start in the opening set, he found little success from there on out. Nadal, a three-time BNP Paribas Open champion, unleashed a barrage of topspin-fueled backhands and beautiful volleys at the net to overwhelm Schwartzman throughout the remainder of the match.
Schwartzman, the world No. 25, fell short in his hope to pose the first threat to Nadal’s title run in the desert. Nadal dropped only one more game, winning (22/27) 81% of his first serve points to stamp his ticket into the fourth round of the tournament.
Rise and Rafa 💪
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 13, 2019
Next up for Nadal, he’ll face arguably the most surprising player remaining in the men’s draw. Ranked No. 113 in the world, qualifier Filip Krajinovic of Serbia is a relative unknown when compared to the rest of his competition in Tennis Paradise. That being said, he’s proven his worth with two consecutive victories over ATP Tour top-20’ers David Goffin (No. 20) and Daniil Medvedev (No. 14). Neither Goffin nor Medvedev managed to win more than three games in any set against the Serb, as they were beaten back by Krajinovic’s surprising form.
As Krajinovic vies for the biggest win of his career, he can look to the week-long run he’s already had in Indian Wells for confidence. The world No. 113 entered the BNP Paribas Open as a qualifier, needing to advance through two rounds just to make the main draw. He easily routed both Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ricardas Berankis in straight sets, and later booked his date with Nadal after two more main draw triumphs.
While he’s playing some of the best tennis of his career, Krajinovic will have to raise his game to another level in order to dispatch Nadal. The 32-year-old, 17-time Grand Slam singles titlist is showing no signs of slowing down. He began his 2019 season by rolling through a slew of top-ranked opponents on his way to the finals in Melbourne.
Nadal will look to continue his brilliance at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Wednesday, and add another chapter to his storied career. On the other side of the net, an unexpected Serbian will attempt to pull off an upset for the ages.