Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer To Face Off At Indian Wells’ BNP Paribas Open Last 16
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal to Meet in BNP Paribas Open Fourth Round
The match, which will feature one of tennis’ greatest rivalries, comes two months after Federer defeated Nadal in the Australian Open final to secure his record-extending 18th Grand Slam title.
No. 5 seed Nadal, a 14-time major champion, beat fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-5, while ninth-seeded Federer topped American Steve Johnson 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-4).
He continued: “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 play free again. I think it’s really important.”
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 15, 2017
Despite losing his last two matches against Federer, Nadal still holds a 23-12 edge overall in their head-to-heads and Indian Wells has been his most successful hard-court Masters tournament. The two last played at the BNP Open in 2013.
Federer lost in Dubai in February to Russian Evgeny Donskoy, the World No. 99, squandering several leads.
Nadal, on the other hand, finished well at his only post-Australian Open tournament, reaching the final in Acapulco. However, the 30-year-old Spaniard lost the final to American Sam Querrey to extend his hard court title drought to three years.
Also at Indian Wells this week, Novak Djokovic defeated Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro, while German Angelique Kerber, who is set to become world number one, has been eliminated.
Kerber fell to Russian Elena Vesnina 3-6,3-6.
In earlier matches, unseeded American Donald Young beat French 14th seed Lucas Pouille 6-4 1-6 6-3 on the men’s side, while Japan’s fourth seed Kei Nishikori saw off Frenchman Gilles Muller 6-2 6-2.
American 17th seed Jack Sock edged a third set tie-break to beat Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 3-6 6-3 7-6.
In the women’s draw, American 12th seed Venus Williams defeated Peng Shuai of China 3-6 6-1 6-3, while Czech third seed Karolina Pliskova was beating Timea Bacsinszky 5-1 when the Swiss retired.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 27: Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a forehand in his semifinal match against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria on day 12 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 27, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)