Zeenews Sports Bureau
Indian Wells: Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will face off in the quarter final at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells after they both won tough three-setters to get past the fourth round.
Rafael Nadal was pushed to the limit by Ernests Gulbis, who has famously beaten Nadal in the past, as the Latvian took the first set 6-4. Nadal looked far from his imperious best in the first set, but signs of form returned as he improved through the second set, taking it 6-4. The third set looked to be heading the distance at 5-5, but Nadal pushed himself to another gear, breaking Gulbis and taking the decider 7-5.
The 4-6 6-4 7-5 win set up an exciting quarter final clash between old foes Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the biggest test of the Spaniard’s career since his recent comeback from a serious knee injury halfway through 2012.
Earlier, world number 2 Roger Federer also had a tough fourth round, as he overcame a resilient Stanislas Wawrinka with the match going the distance.
After taking the first set comfortably 6-3, the second set went all the way to a tie breaker where fellow Swiss-man Wawrinka put one over Federer, winning 7-4 to make it one set all. The third set proved to be tough as well but the former world number 1 finally clinched the set and, with it, the match, winning 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 7-5.
Federer will take on Nadal on March 14 at night in their first head-to-head since they met at the same venue a year ago, where the Swiss maestro won the semi-final in straight sets en route to clinching the Indian Wells Masters’ title.