Indian Wells: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer booked a mouthwatering fourth-round clash at the ATP Indian Wells Masters on Tuesday, where five-time champion Novak Djokovic also advanced from the “group of death”.
With the three superstars drawn in the same quarter, only one — at most - can make it to the semi-finals.
The weeding out will start in earnest when Federer meets Nadal in the round of 16 in a reprise of the Australian Open final in January that saw the Swiss star claim an 18th Grand Slam crown.
“I think it’s a great thing for tennis, and it’s exciting for Rafa and me,” said Federer, a four-time Indian Wells winner. “It’s a tough draw, but rankings are not the priority for both of us.”
Three-time Indian Wells champion Nadal was the first through defeating fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-5.
Federer edged American Steve Johnson 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/4) in a match in which neither player was able to break.
Djokovic downs del Potro
Novak Djokovic made it past dangerous Argentine Juan Martin del Potro by beating him 7-5, 4-6, 6-1, who had shocked him in the first round of the Rio Olympics last year en route to singles silver.
Djokovic eked out the first set despite going down an early break, but couldn’t do the same in the second. Djokovic will next meet Kyrgios, who defeated Germany’s Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-4.
Meanwhile, fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori advanced to the fourth round with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Gilles Muller while Nishikori booked a date with unseeded Donald Young, who beat Lucas Pouille 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.
American Jack Sock saved four match points in a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (9/7) win over Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov. Sock next faces Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 winner over 19-year-old American Taylor Fritz....