Rafa Nadal apologises to opponent in funny pre-match moment

Rafael Nadal was caught on camera offering a funny apology to his opponent before their clash at Indian Wells.

The Spaniard was in action against American Jared Donaldson in California on Sunday, but Nadal suffered a small mishap before the match.

Nadal was seen apologising to Donaldson in the tunnel before they walked out on court.

“Sorry I am late,” Nadal said with a smile. “I thought [the match] was at 8, not 6.”

Donaldson’s reply was pretty typical for a World No.192 who’s just about to play a 17-time grand slam champion.

“They’re not going to start the match without you,” he told Nadal.

Donaldson and Nadal shared a laugh. Image: Tennis TV
Donaldson and Nadal shared a laugh. Image: Tennis TV

Once the match did start, Nadal looked as though he was still in a hurry, breezing into the third round 6-1, 6-1 in little over an hour.

Nadal, a three-time champion at Indian Wells, was typically merciless, hitting 18 winners and 10 unforced errors in his victory.

Donaldson could only take three games against Nadal in their only previous meeting in Shanghai in 2017, but he was unable to match even that.

Federer moves into third round

Earlier, Roger Federer began his campaign with a comprehensive victory over Peter Gojowczyk to ease into the round of 32.

The news wasn’t so good for Australians Alexei Popyrin, dispatched 6-2 6-0 by American John Isner, and Alex Bolt, who fell to Aregentine Guido Pella 7-6(7-5) 2-6 6-3.

World No.4 Federer was dominant in the opening set but was pushed in the second before he wrapped up the 6-1 7-5 in one hour and 17 minutes.

A double fault from Germany’s Gojowczyk gave Federer a break before a long backhand offered the Swiss a favourable 4-0 start.

Gojowczyk managed to complete a service game before Federer sealed the first set lead with a vicious serve after 24 minutes.

Federer fell 3-1 behind in the second set but the 37-year-old 20-time grand slam champion earned two more breaks to complete the match.

Roger Federer celebrates his win. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)
Roger Federer celebrates his win. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

“I think I played well in the first set, and he didn’t, and then things go very quickly,” he said.

“The second set he saved some crucial break points, with you know, good serving.

“I struggled a little bit with my serving in that second set and that gave him some chances,” Federer said.

Japanese sixth seed Kei Nishikori survived a scare against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino to prevail 6-4 4-6 7-6(7-4).

“I was really focused on that last tiebreak,” he said.

“I think we both played good, and I think in the tiebreak I played the best tennis.”

Russian 14th seed Daniil Medvedev is also through after he dismissed American Mackenzie McDonald 7-5 6-0 and he will face Filip Krajinovic next after the Serb conquered 20th-seeded Belgian David Goffin 6-3 6-3.

Britain’s 22nd seed Kyle Edmund advanced to round three with a 6-2 6-0 victory over Chile’s Nicolas Jarry.

Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman could play world No.2 Rafael Nadal next after his 6-3 6-1 win over Roberto Carballes Baena.

Lucky loser Andrey Rublev overcame Robin Haase 6-3 3-6 6-3 to move into round three.

with AAP