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Nadal vs Schwartzman ATP Indian Wells Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Nadal aims to maintain perfect record over tenacious Schwartzman

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 12 Mar 2019
  • Rafael Nadal vs Diego Schwartzman is live from Indian Wells on Tuesday, 12 March from 12:30pm local time/ 7:30pm GMT
  • Nadal leads 6-0 on head-to-head
Rafael Nadal. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

World No. 2, Rafael Nadal will attempt to maintain his perfect record over Argentine, Diego Schwartzman, and move into the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells when they meet on Tuesday.

Nadal made a storming start to the tournament, blasting out American Jared Donaldson 6-1 6-1 in the second round in just 72 minutes. The great Spaniard converted five of the six break points he carved out, while he didn't offer any break opportunities on his own serve, winning 17 of 20 points behind his first serve, and 11 of 17 behind his second in a near-flawless performance.

"I always have good feelings on that court,” said Nadal. “I’ve played a lot of good tournaments here. And I really enjoy playing here. I always felt great”. 

The 32-year-old is bidding to win the Indian Wells title for the fourth time, having triumphed in the desert in 2007, 2009 and 2013. Nadal is also seeking his first ATP World Tour title since last August, when he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Rogers Cup final in Toronto. Since then, he has been restricted to only three tournaments (before Indian Wells) due to several injury problems. After pulling out of the Cincinnati Masters, the Spaniard reached the semi-finals of the US Open, but was forced to retire due a knee injury. Nadal did not play again for the rest of the season, as a combination of knee, abdominal and ankle injuries kept him on the sidelines. His injury woes continued into 2019, when he skipped his scheduled season opener in Brisbane due to a thigh complaint, but he made an impressive return to action at the Australian Open, reaching the final before being stopped emphatically by the brilliant Novak Djokovic.

Nadal did not play again until Acapulco, where he comfortably took out Mischa Zverev in the first round before suffering a dramatic defeat to eventual champion, Nick Kyrgios in the second. The world No. 2 held three match points at 6-3 in the final set tie break, but he failed to convert any, paving the way for the controversial Kyrgios to pull off the stunning victory.

Nadal has made at least the fourth round at Indian Wells in 11 of his 13 previous appearances, and he will be looking to reach that stage of the tournament for the fourth straight appearance (he did not play Indian Wells last season) when he takes on Schwartzman on Tuesday.

Diego Schwartzman. (Photo by CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)
This has already been a career-best Indian Wells campaign for Schwartzman, who had never previously gone beyond the second round at the tournament. He defeated Jerzy Janowicz in his Indian Wells debut back in 2015, but he lost four in a row after that, including successive opening round defeats in 2016, 2017 and 2018. However, he snapped that losing run with a fine 6-3 6-1 victory over Roberto Carballes Baena in the opening round on Sunday. The Argentine had dropped the first two games of the match, but he won 12 of the next 14, including six in a row as he sprinted to the finish line.

Schwartzman rose to the brink of the top-ten in the middle of last season, on the back of a quarter final run at Roland Garros (he had earlier reached the fourth round at the Australian Open, and claimed his biggest career title in Rio), reaching No. 11 in the world, but he could not quite kick on in the second half of the year, and slipped to a year-end ranking of 17th.

The diminutive Argentine has been just about OK in terms of results this season, with his best being a runner-up finish in Buenos Aires, where he defeated Dominic Thiem before falling to Marco Cecchinato in the final. He also made the semi-finals in Sydney at the start of the year, quarter finals in Cordoba, and the third round of the Australian Open.

The world No. 26 would have been most disappointed with events in Rio, when he surrendered his title with an opening round loss to Pablo Cuevas- a result which effectively cost him his top-20 ranking, while he was beaten by Cameron Norrie in the second round Acapulco- his most recent tournament before Indian Wells.

Another early exit looks on the cards for the Argentine, as he takes on Nadal on Tuesday…

“...the next one is going to be against a player that I know very well," said Nadal. "We practised a lot of times, and we played some tough matches. [He is] one of the best talents of the sport today. So it's going to be a tough one against Diego."

While Nadal is unbeaten against Schwartzman, the Argentine has cause him problems in the past, last season to be precise, when he took sets off the Spaniard at the Australian Open and Roland Garros. The Roland Garros meeting was particularly memorable as Schwartzman had dominated Nadal for the best part of a set and a half before a combination of a drop in form from the underdog, Nadal raising his level and the rain salvaged the situation for the King of Clay.

Schwartzman also does his best work on clay, but he is a competent hard-court player, as he takes the ball early, packs a decent punch off both wings, especially the backhand, moves supremely well, and is tenacious across the baseline. He is the sort of player who will leave absolutely everything on the court, but so is Nadal, who has always found a way against the Argentine.

Expect the three-time champion to move into the Round of 16 on Tuesday.
Rafael Nadal vs Diego Schwartzman is live from Indian Wells on Tuesday, 12 March from 12:30pm local time/ 7:30pm GMT

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Nadal vs Schwartzman ATP Indian Wells Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Nadal aims to maintain perfect record over tenacious Schwartzman

Rafael Nadal continues his campaign for a fourth Indian Wells title when he takes on Argentine, Diego Schwartzman in the third round. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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