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Federer, Nadal to renew rivalry at Indian Wells

updated 8:44 AM EDT, Thu March 14, 2013
Seventeen-time grand slam winner has beat Rafael Nadal 10 times in 28 matches.
Seventeen-time grand slam winner has beat Rafael Nadal 10 times in 28 matches.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to face each other in the quarterfinals at Indian Wells
  • The pair of former world No. 1s have contested eight grand slam finals
  • 10-time grand slam winner Nadal has won 18 of the pair's 28 matches
  • Top seed Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Andy Murray also into the last eight

(CNN) -- One of sport's greatest rivalries will be reignited Thursday when Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal go head-to-head in the quarterfinals of the Indian Wells Masters.

Seventeen-time grand slam champion Federer and Nadal, a winner of 11 majors, haven't played each other since the semifinals of the 2012 edition of the Miami event, when Federer emerged with a straight-sets win.

Switzerland's Federer booked his place in the last eight with a 6-3 6-7(7-4) 7-5 victory over compatriot and former doubles partner Stanislaw Wawrinka, while Spain's Nadal came from behind to beat Latvian Ernests Gulbis 4-6 6-4 7-5.

World No. 5 Nadal has the edge over second seed Federer, leading the head-to-head record with 18 wins to Ferderer's 10. Nadal has also emerged victorious from six of the eight grand slam finals the pair have contested.

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For former world No.1 Nadal, the win over Gulbis represented another step forward in his comeback from a knee injury which sidelined him for seven months.

"To win matches in days like today are more important that ever for me, and I'm very happy about what I did on court," the 26-year-old told the ATP World Tour's official website. "I'm happy about the attitude. With all the problems, I was able to keep being focused and keep winning."

Defending champion Federer is bidding for a record fifth Indian Wells triumph.

"Today it was extremely close again," said the 31-year-old. "OK, I should [have] maybe closed it out in the second set, but he did well to stay in it.

"At the end, I don't know what [got] me through. Maybe it's the experience or maybe [I was] a bit more calm in those moments. I'm not sure. Today I think I was a little lucky to come through it in the end."

Read: Tennis' unlikely bromance

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Top seed Novak Djokovic extended his unbeaten start to 2013, stretching his winning streak to 16 by defeating American Sam Querrey 6-0 7-6 (8-6) in a match which finished at 1:51 am local time.

Despite the defeat, Querrey is certain to usurp John Isner as the U.S.'s top-ranked male tennis player.

Next up for six-time grand slam champion Djokovic is France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who came from one set down to beat Canadian Milos Raonic.

Third seed Andy Murray, who lost to Djokovic in January's Australian Open final, battled past Argentina's Carlos Berlocq. Britain's Murray twice trailed by a break of serve in the opening set but recovered to record a 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 win.

Murray's quarterfinal opponent will be Berlocq's compatriot Juan Martin del Potro after the 2009 U.S. Open winner breezed past veteran German Tommy Haas 6-1 6-2.

In the women's draw, second seed Maria Sharapova beat No. 6 Sara Errani in a repeat of the 2012 French Open. It was Sharapova's third successive win over Errani, having also got the better of the Italian at the season-ending WTA Tour Championships.

"I didn't play my best tennis throughout the whole match. Sara had many opportunities to win the first set," Russia's Sharapova told the Tour's official website after her 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 quarterfinal success.

"But I stayed strong and tough. Although I wasn't playing at the highest level, I tried to be as consistent as possible and hang in there. Once I got the first set, I got in a better rhythm, which helped me and gave me more confidence."

Sharapova's semifinal opponent will be countrywoman Maria Kirilenko, after the 13th seed upset in-form world No. 8 Petra Kvitova with a 4-6 6-4 6-3 win.

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