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Indian Wells: Roger Federer reprised his Australian Open triumph over Rafael Nadal on Wednesday, sweeping past the Spaniard 6-2, 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP Indian Wells Masters.
In the 36th career meeting between the two superstars, Federer needed just 68 minutes to advance to a meeting with Australian Nick Kyrgios, who toppled five-time Indian Wells champion Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-6 (7/3).
The victory marked the first time in a rivalry stretching back to 2004 that Federer has strung together three straight wins over Nadal. He beat him in the final at Basel in 2015 and in an epic Australian Open final in January in their two most recent previous contests.
It was the first time since their first meeting in 2004 that Federer and Nadal had met before the quarter-finals of a tournament, and oddity of the rankings that had them and Djokovic a�� with 44 Grand Slam titles among the three of them a�� all grouped in the same quarter of the draw.
Federer broke Nadal to open the match, and seized a second break and 4-1 with a blistering backhand service return winner.
A forehand volley sealed the set, and another forehand winner put Federer up a break at 2-1 in the second.
Federer was firmly in control as Nadal served to save the match at 5-3. An unlucky netcord bounce, when Nadal’s forehand clipped the net and rolled back, gave Federer a double match point, and with a backhand return down the line the 36th meeting between the two was his.
The win marks the first time in the rivalry that Federer has strung together three wins over Nadal.
He beat him in the final at Basel in 2015 and in an epic Australian Open final in January in their two most recent previous contests.
“In Australia was a very close match,” Nadal said. “I had good chances to win. Today, not. Today he played better than me. I didn’t play my best match, and he played well. These kind of matches, when you’re not playing your match, it’s impossible to win.”