Just like that, Indian Wells will have its classic: Not just Roger and Rafa, but a rematch of this year's Australian Open final, won by Federer in, you guessed it, a grueling five-setter.
Briton Kyle Edmund cruised into an Indian Wells ATP Masters meeting with three-time defending champion Novak Djokovic on Friday with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Portugal's Gastao Elias.
Ninth-seeded Federer, resurgent after a 2016 season marred by injury, downed Nadal in an epic Australian Open final to secure his 18th Grand Slam title.
Djokovic, however, must next negotiate a unsafe third-round opponent in Argentine Juan Martin del Potro after the three-times defending champion advanced with an unconvincing 6-4 7-6 (5) victory over Briton Kyle Edmund.
"I didn't try to do unbelievable things".
"I thought I just competed well, it was always going to be a tough match", Kyrgios said. I think that's the most incredible thing about his game. The last time was back in 2004, with Rafael Nadal winning the third round match.
Djokovic took control with a break for 3-1 in the final set and closed out a two-and-a-quarter-hour win with a volley victor to the corner.
Deadlocked at 5-all, Verdasco missed a wild forehand wide to face a second break point then spit up his second double fault of the game-and seventh of the match-gifting the break in the 11th game. "If I play against Roger in the fourth round, it will be great, but I need to win another match to do it".
The 30-year-old, though, was surprisingly beaten in the final by American Sam Querrey to extend his hard court title drought to three years.
World number one Murray, meanwhile, praised his second-round conqueror, Vasek Pospisil, while at the same time lamenting an off night with his second serve.
In the women's Indian Wells tournament, number two seed Angelique Kerber lost to 14th-seeded Elena Vesnina 6-3, 6-3 in the fourth round. "I saw it during the first few games that she wasn't hitting many backhands". Tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are once again set to face-off against one another. The Australian defeated German Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-4 to book his California spot.
In earlier matches, unseeded American Donald Young beat French 14th seed Lucas Pouille 6-4 1-6 6-3 in the men's draw.
"There is a bit of the unknown, which is exciting maybe for the fans to see how we're going to try to figure that part out".
USA 12th seed Venus Williams put out qualifier Peng Shuai 3-6, 6-1, 6-3.
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