Roger Federer to face Rafael Nadal in Indian Wells quarter-finals as Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios progress

Federer beat Steve Johnson with two tie-breakers while Nadal cruised past Fernando Verdasco

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Arguably the greatest rivalry in the history of tennis will continue at the BNP Paribas Open after Roger Federer set up a quarter-final clash with Rafael Nadal.

Less than two months on from the previous instalment which saw 35-year-old Federer claim the Australian Open with a thrilling five-set final victory over his Spanish counterpart, the pair will meet again in the last eight at Indian Wells.

Federer booked his place with a straight sets win over American Steve Johnson, edging a tight contest that had no break of serves 7-6 (7/3) 7-6 (7/4).

Nadal had it much more comfortable as he beat his compatriot Fernando Verdasco 6-3 7-5, setting up a 36th meeting with his great rival, who he has beaten 23 times.

Despite leading the head-to-head comfortably, Nadal, who won his 50th match at Indian Wells, knows what to expect.

He said in his post-match press conference: "He has the talent to do very difficult things that look easy. He's able to take the ball very early. Serve and first shot, he creates a lot of winners with that, the two first shots."

Federer added: "That's why I came here, to play against guys like Rafa. Now we have it. I'm going to be excited now, I'd better be excited now otherwise I came for the wrong reasons.

"I try to see it really as another opportunity to build upon something for the rest of the season.

"So regardless of Australia, winning or losing, I'm going to try to go out there and try to play free again. I think it's really important."

Novak Djokovic extended his impressive winning streak at Indian Wells to 19 games after coming out on top in an epic battle with Juan Martin del Potro.

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Nadal saw off fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco (Getty)

The world number two, who has not been beaten at this tournament since a defeat to Del Potro in 2013, got the better of his opponent this time around, winning 7-5 4-6 6-1.

Djokovic fought back from a break down in the first set to claim it, before the Argentinian forced a decider with some incredible power hitting.

It was the Serb who showcased his famous durability, though, as he broke Del Potro twice in the third set to claim a memorable victory and set up a quarter-final tie with Nick Kyrgios.

Bad boy Kyrgios kept his tantrums to a minimum to win a highly entertaining contest with fellow rising star Alexander Zverev. The Australian triumphed 6-3 6-4.

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Djokovic was forced to fight his way past Juan Martin del Potro (Getty)

Fourth seed Kei Nishikori enjoyed the easiest of run outs against Gilles Muller, winning 6-2 6-2 and setting up a quarter-final clash with American Donald Young, who beat Lucas Pouille 6-3 6-2.

American Jack Sock staved off four match points to beat Grigor Dimitrov 3-6 6-3 7-6 (9/7) while Tunisian Malek Jaziri continued his impressive run with a 6-3 3-6 6-3 win over home favourite Taylor Fritz.

PA

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