ATP Tour

Federer books Round 4 blockbuster with Nadal

2017-03-15 07:01
Roger Federer (AFP)

Indian Wells - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will reprise their epic Australian Open title clash when they meet on Wednesday in the fourth round of the ATP Tour's Indian Wells Masters.

It will be the 36th career meeting between the two, but Federer - who vanquished Nadal in Melbourne to claim his 18th Grand Slam title - admits their first meeting before the quarter-finals of a tournament since 2004 will have something of a different flavour.

"It will feel different," Federer said after downing American Steve Johnson 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4) to book the blockbuster.

"It's going to be more difficult for both of us just to rip winners into the corner.

"If you play at the early matches, you see usually the top guys not chase the lines so much. You give yourself some margins for error. So I think the match will be played a bit different.

"Because it's early in the tournament, I think we both don't quite yet know to 100 percent how everything feels. So there is a bit of the unknown. And then it's a best of three set match. This is more of a sprint than a marathon, not like in Australia."

The last time Nadal and Federer met before the quarter-finals of a tournament was their first meeting in the round of 32 at Miami in 2004.

Then, 14-time Grand Slam champion Nadal was a hungry teenager taking on an already-established star - and winning.

"It was a long time ago," said Nadal, who advanced Tuesday with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. "I went on court, nothing to lose. A lot of motivation to play against, I think, number one already.

"For me to play with Roger, doesn't matter if it was in that early round, I didn't feel it was unlucky for me. It was a beautiful match, and I tried to go out on court and enjoy it and fight for it."

Now, like Federer, Nadal is aware that the fourth-round match is part of a larger goal, and the draw that put them, along with world No 2 Novak Djokovic, in the same quarter a matter for regret.

"I think is unlucky part of the draw for everybody," he said. "In this case, doesn't matter if everybody is playing well, because from our part of the draw, only one of us is going to be in that semi-finals. So that's tough. The only thing we can do to avoid that is be in higher position in the rankings."

Djokovic withstood Juan Martin del Potro 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 to reach the fourth round.

Djokovic, whose five Indian Wells titles include the last three, next faces Australian Nick Kyrgios, a 6-3, 6-4 winner over Russian Alexander Zverev.

Kyrgios, the 15th seed, stunned Djokovic in straight sets in the quarter-finals at Acapulco this month.

Results on Tuesday in the BNP Paribas Open ATP Masters/WTA tournament in Indian Wells, California (x denotes seeded player):

Men

Third round

Malek Jaziri (TUN) bt Taylor Fritz (USA) 6-4, 3-6, 6-3

Jack Sock (USA x17) bt Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x12) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7)

Donald Young (USA) bt Lucas Pouille (FRA x14) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3

Kei Nishikori (JPN x4) bt Gilles Muller (LUX x25) 6-2, 6-2

Rafael Nadal (ESP x5) bt Fernando Verdasco (ESP x26) 6-3, 7-5

Roger Federer (SUI x9) bt Steve Johnson (USA x24) 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4)

Nick Kyrgios (AUS x15) bt Alexander Zverev (GER x18) 6-3, 6-4

Novak Djokovic (SRB) bt Juan Martin del Potro (ARG) 7-5, 4-6, 6-1

Women

Fourth round

Karolína Plískova (CZE x3) bt Timea Bacsinszky (SUI x15) 5-1 retired

Garbine Muguruza (ESP) bt Elina Svitolina (UKR) 7-6 (7/5), 1-6, 6-0

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x19) bt Dominika Cibulkova (SVK x5) 6-4, 3-6, 6-2

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x8) bt Caroline Garcia (FRA x21) 6-1, 6-4

Caroline Wozniacki (DEN x13) bt Madison Keys (USA X9) 6-4, 6-4

Kristina Mladenovic (FRA x28) bt Lauren Davis (USA) 6-3, 6-3

Venus Williams (USA x12) bt Peng Shuai (CHN) 3-6, 6-1, 6-3

Elena Vesnina (RUS x14) bt Angelique Kerber (GER x2) 6-3, 6-3

Read more on:    indian wells  |  roger federer  |  tennis
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