Tennis

Federer makes easy work of beating Nadal

Roger Federer reprised his Australian Open triumph over Rafael Nadal yesterday morning (Singapore time), beating the Spaniard 6-2, 6-3 to reach the last eight of the ATP Indian Wells Masters.

Federer, 35, needed just 68 minutes to advance to a meeting with Australian Nick Kyrgios, who toppled five-time Indian Wells champion Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-6 (7/3).

"For me, it was all about coming out and trying to play the way I did in Australia," said Federer, who beat Nadal in a five-set thriller to lift the Australian Open title in January.

"I didn't think it was going to be that possible, to be quite honest, because the court is more jumpy here or more rough, let's say, so it's hard to put the ball away."

The victory marked the first time in a rivalry stretching back to 2004 that Federer has strung together three straight wins over Nadal. He beat Nadal in the final at Basel in 2015 and in Melbourne in their last two games.

But Federer has to contend with giant-killer Kyrgios tomorrow morning.

"Obviously can't celebrate too long this time around," he said of his win over Nadal. "I have to get back to work in a couple of days."

In the women's draw, world No. 3 Karolina Pliskova reached the semi-finals after edging French Open champion Garbine Muguruza 7-6(2), 7-6(5).

Pliskova let a 5-2 lead slip away in the second set before recovering to earn the victory after a two-hour battle.

She advances to face Svetlana Kuznetsova, who earlier defeated fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 6-2, tomorrow morning. - WIRE SERVICES

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