Roger Federer breezed past Rafael Nadal to beat his great rival 6-2 6-3 and set up an Indian Wells quarter-final with Nick Kyrgios.
The Swiss great was in magnificent form, sealing victory with a trademark backhand winner, to advance to the last eight at Indian Wells and record a third successive victory over the Spaniard for the first time.
“It’s a nice feeling to win the last three. I can tell you that,” Federer said in his post-match press conference.
“But most importantly, I won Australia. That was big for me. On the comeback, I look back at that and think that was one of the coolest things I ever experienced in my career.
Nadal came into the Paribas Open fourth-round encounter leading the head-to-head 23-12 but having lost January’s thrilling five-set Australian Open final – and there was to be no repeat of that drama in California as Federer rolled back the years, again.
The Swiss ended a wait of more than six years to claim Grand Slam title number 18 with his win in Melbourne and his success in the desert on Wednesday night keeps him on course for a fifth Indian Wells title and first since 2012.
Next up for Federer is Kyrgios who recorded a second victory over world number two Novak Djokovic in a fortnight to reach the last eight of the tournament for the first time.