Indian Wells, USA

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Indian Wells, USA

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Indian Wells, USA

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Indian Wells, USA

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Indian Wells, USA

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Indian Wells, USA

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By TENNIS.com Mar 20, 2022
Indian Wells, USA

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Indian Wells, USA

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Indian Wells, USA

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Indian Wells, USA

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WATCH: A chat with the newest TC family member, Caroline Wozniacki

Rafael Nadal vs. Sebastian Korda

“Growing up, I named my cat Rafa after him,” Korda said the last time he played Nadal, at Roland Garros in 2020. “That says a lot about how much I love the guy.”

You probably won’t be surprised to recall that Korda never stood a chance in that match. He lost to his idol, on his idol’s favorite surface, 6-1, 6-1, 6-2. But Nadal still had time to spot Korda’s talent. “He has a lot of things to do in the next years in our sport,” Rafa said. Two years later, Korda has been begun to do them. The 21-year-old American sits at No. 38 in the rankings, and most expect him to cut that number in half, at least, by the end of the season.

Normally, we’d say that this surface should favor, or at least not disfavor, Korda this time around. Except that Nadal is 15-0 on hard courts, with three straight titles, so far in 2022. Korda will surely make it closer than he did in Paris, but Nadal has had the Next Gen’s number this year. Winner: Nadal

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Nadal is enjoying the best season start of his career in 2022.

Nadal is enjoying the best season start of his career in 2022.

Leylah Fernandez vs. Amanda Anisimova

The 20-year-old American and the 19-year-old Canadian have never played, which is a bit of a surprise, considering that each of them has been on tour for at least three years. But with both of them finding their form early in 2022, a meeting was inevitable. Anisimova won a title in Australia in January, and Fernandez won one in Monterrey last week. We’ll likely see many more matches, in later rounds, between these two over the next decade.

They should make for an interesting contrast. The 5-foot-11 Anisimova is a pure and sometimes-brilliant ball-striker who thrives on offense. The 5-foot-6 Fernandez is a pure and sometimes-brilliant counterpuncher who takes the ball off the hop and redirects it creatively. Fernandez is the more complete player, and the one who has been to a Grand Slam final, but if Anisimova is on, there isn’t much that her smaller opponent can do about it. Winner: Anisimova

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#CentreCourtCentennial

#CentreCourtCentennial

We're celebrating the 100th anniversary of the sport's most prestigious battleground by reliving its most memorable matches.

Carlos Alcaraz vs. Mackenzie McDonald

Alcaraz is 18 and McDonald 26, but already the young Spaniard is ranked 30 spots higher than the American ever has been. So as far as raw talent goes, there’s not much question about who has the higher ceiling, no matter what the surface is. But this surface, and location, and moment, do give McDonald something of a chance. He’s from California, which means he likes hard courts; as a former standout at UCLA, he has a local connection to the crowd; and he has played some of the best tennis of his career over the last 10 months. And as good as Alcaraz is, and is going to be, he’s not quite all the way there yet. Winner: Alcaraz

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