Rafael Nadal has ended the run of Latvian qualifier Ernests Gulbis with a 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory in the fourth round at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Wednesday.
Gulbis was on a 13-match winning streak, having made his way through the qualifying rounds at Delray Beach, where he won the title, and at Indian Wells, where he won three main-draw matches, including two over seeded players.
Nadal earned the only break of the third set to go up 6-5, then closed out the win on his third match point. He leapt in the air, tore off his headband and pumped his left arm, yelling, "Yeah!"
The fifth-seeded Spaniard opened his bid for a third Indian Wells title with a two-set victory over American Ryan Harrison, Nadal's first hard-court match in nearly a year.
He returned to the ATP Tour a month ago, winning two of three tournaments on clay after missing seven months because of a left knee injury.