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NextGen star Alexander Zverev foils Rafael Nadal by his speed in this hot shot from the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com.

Nadal Survives Zverev In Indian Wells

Spaniard saves match point in win

On Tuesday, Rafael Nadal called Sascha Zverev “a future No. 1.” But a day later, the Spaniard showed that in the present, he still rules.

No. 4 seed Nadal saved a match point in overcoming the 18-year-old German 6-7(8), 6-0, 7-5 in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday, winning 15 of the final 16 points. The three-time Indian Wells champion (2007, 2009 and 2013) still has a chance to reach his 100th tour-level final (67-32).

"A great victory... I'm very happy about it," Nadal said. "I am especially happy about the mentality on court, the spirit of fight during the whole match, believing that I can win a match during the whole time even in the tougher situations."

Nadal held a set point in the opening set tie-break, but squandered the opportunity by overcooking a forehand. Down a set, the Spaniard rebounded, winning the second set going away, 25 points to nine.

“First set I had big chance with not a difficult forehand down the line that I missed,” Nadal noted. “But after that, I think I played a great second set. But sometimes when you win a set that easily, it’s dangerous for the beginning of the next one. The beginning of the third he played aggressive, and I think I lost the rhythm a bit, so I was in trouble.”

After breaking Nadal twice in the decider, Zverev had a chance to become the youngest man to make the Indian Wells quarter-finals since Michael Chang and Andre Agassi in 1989. Serving at 5-4 in the deciding set, he was a point away from notching his biggest career win. But on match point, Zverev missed a forehand volley.

"I missed probably the easiest shot I had the whole match," he said.

The miscue took a heavy toll on Zverev, who seemed to lose his spark after letting slip the opportunity to claim his first Top 10 victory.

"It was a great match. Rafa did what he does best; he was fighting. He's known for that," Zverev said. "I still had chances to win. I had an easy shot at match point and I missed it. I'm out and he's in the quarter-finals."

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