Former champions Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal edged closer to a blockbuster semifinal showdown at the ATP Indian Wells Masters on Wednesday with imperious fourth-round wins.
World No 2 Nadal overpowered Serbian qualifier Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-4 to book his quarterfinal berth in one hour and 26 minutes.
Federer, seeking a record sixth title in the California desert, needed just 64 minutes to get past Britain’s Kyle Edmund 6-1, 6-4.
Nadal said his performance on a windy stadium court wasn’t as good as his 6-3, 6-1 third-round win over Argentine Diego Schwartzman.
But he was more than a match for 113th-ranked Krajinovic, breaking him early in each set and saving the only break point he faced.
Nadal, who lifted the Indian Wells trophy in 2007, 2008 and 2013, is in the last eight for the first time in three years after missing last year’s edition, skipping both Indian Wells and the Miami Masters with a hip injury.
He next will take on 13th-ranked Russian Karen Khachanov, who beat world No 9 John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (7/1).
Fourth-seeded Federer, fresh off his 100th career title, looked poised to finish off Edmund in less than an hour.
But the Swiss great had to fight off three break points as he served for the match, just a small speed bump in a match that he took charge of early.
Federer will fight for a semifinal berth against 22-year-old Pole Hubert Hurkacz.
Hurkacz, ranked 67th in the world, sent 25th-ranked Canadian Denis Shapovalov packing 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 6-3.