Nadal completes remarkable comeback to reach quarters


Spanish fourth seed Rafael Nadal fought back from the brink of defeat to reach the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals following a stunning capitulation from German teenager Alexander Zverev.

Nadal fended off a match point in the final set to complete a remarkable 6-7 (8-10) 6-0 7-5 fourth-round win at Indian Wells on Wednesday.

Zverev was on the cusp of one the biggest wins in his emerging career on the ATP Tour, serving for the match at 5-4.

However, with an open court at his mercy and a last-eight berth begging, the 18-year-old German sent a forehand into the net and repeated the feat again two points later as three-time champion Nadal broke to level proceedings before romping to victory in a landslide finish.

Nadal, who will face either Kei Nishikori or John Isner in the quarters, gave Zverev some glimpses on serve in the opening set, and despite looking solid from the baseline, the Spaniard was eventually broken in the fifth game.

After successfully challenging a call to go 30-40 up, Zverev unleashed a powerful two-handed backhand to move 3-2 ahead before consolidating his lead.

Nadal, who was further rattled when he was warned for bad language - the 14-time grand-slam champion claiming it was the first time in his career that he had been pulled up for profanity, then had a break point at 30-40 but Zverev fended it off as he held for a 5-3 advantage.

Zverev was unable to serve out the set as Nadal saved a couple of break points, having converted his first break of the match in the 10th game.

The pair then played out a topsy-turvy tie-break, which lasted more than 15 minutes before Zverev emerged on top.

After the disappointment of the opening set, Nadal came out all guns blazing in the second, converting all three break-point opportunities and limiting Zverev to just two winners on his first serve.

That appeared to be a mere blip as Zverev earned a double-break lead, until he faded dramatically, virtually handing 2013 winner Nadal an unlikely path to the quarters.