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Korda beats Kokkinakis to set up second-round clash with idol Nadal
Nadal, who is a perfect 15-0 in 2022, has won the only previous encounter between the pair
American Sebastian Korda scored a late night win over Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday to set up a much anticipated showdown against 21-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
Playing the final match of the evening session, Korda and Kokkinakis, who won the Adelaide title in January, broke serve a combined five times in the first set.
The second set was a more consistent affair with both players holding serve until Korda broke again in the ninth game and then held his serve to complete victory in one hour and 29 minutes.
Nadal has a 1-0 edge in head-to-head with Korda
Korda’s reward is a second-round showdown against Nadal, his idol as a young child. The pair have met once before as Nadal ended Korda’s breakthrough run at Roland-Garros in 2020 in the fourth round. The American will be hoping to avenge that loss on Saturday but will need to do something no other player has managed to accomplish so far this year.
Nadal remains unbeaten in 2022, winning all 15 of his matches on his way to winning all three events he has played this year, including the Australian Open.