Rafa Nadal had to withstand an onslaught of power serving by Reilly Opelka in the Indian Wells Masters to set up a box office clash with Nick Kyrgios in the quarter finals.

His 7-6(3), 7-6(5) win extended his career best start to a season to perfect 18-0.

The World No. 4 is the highest ranked player left in the event and leads the 6’11” American 2-0 in their series.

Nadal fought back from being a break down in the second set to advance in just over two hours.

He is one of the toughest opponents on Tour,” Nadal said in his on-court interview. “It is very tough to control his weapons with his serve and forehand. I think I played my best match of the tournament so far today. I am very pleased with how I was able to win the match, with two difficult tie-breaks.

When you are playing points from the baseline you think you can’t miss because you won’t have a lot of opportunities. So you need to find the balance to not allow him to come in and not taking big risks.”

This victory means a lot to me.”

The Spaniard is a three time champion in the Californian  desert  and has made history this year, having clinched a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open and achieving his 400th Masters 1000 victory when he beat Britain’s Dan Evans in the third round in Indian Wells

Looking ahead to his next match Nadal said “Nick is playing great,” Nadal said. “He is one of the toughest opponents on Tour. Everyone knows how good he is when he is motivated. It is going to be a good test for me and good challenge. I am excited to be in the quarter-finals.”

Main photo:- Rafa Nadal through to face Nick Kyrgios in Indian Wells – by Pete Staples/ATPTour.com