Rafael Nadal on Saturday improved to a spotless 16-0 on the year, holding off an inspired challenge from Sebastian Korda to reach the third round at the Indian Wells.
The 21 times Grand Slam winner defeated 21-year-old Korda by 6-2, 1-6, 7-6(3) in a thriller.
The American held a double break advantage at 5-2 in the third set and twice served for the match in Indian Wells. But just as in the Australian Open final, Nadal managed to turn the match around after looking down and out against an inspired opponent.
Nadal improved to 2-0 against Korda, having also claimed a 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 decision in the Round of 16 at Roland Garros in 2020.
"I thought I was lost today... and in Australia, very similar feeling," Nadal said in his post-match presser. "But that doesn't mean that I'm not going to keep trying or keep fighting."
"Even if I think I'm going to lose the match, my mindset before returning that 5-2 game is, 'OK, I am playing bad, I had two breaks, but even if I'm going to lose, I'm going to try to finish the match having some better feelings.' So I need to fight to find these better feelings in that last game," he added.
Nadal next faces 27th seed Daniel Evans, a 6-2, 6-0 winner over Federico Coria earlier on Saturday.