The four-time Indian Wells winner was crafty, too. Leading 5-1, Federer moved in quickly on Nadal’s second serve, surprising the Spaniard, whose forehand sailed long. Federer’s drop shots were well-timed and even when a scrambling Nadal got to them in time, Federer answered with one of his 26 winners. The two stars hadn’t played each other before the quarterfinals of an event since 2004 when they met in the third round at Miami. Wednesday’s match was just the fifth time they weren’t opposing each other in a final. Another one of tennis’ Big Four went down, too. Novak Djokovic’s 19-match winning streak at the desert tournament ended in a 6-4, 7-6 (3) loss to Nick Kyrgios. Djokovic joined top-ranked Andy Murray, who was beaten in the second round. It was Kyrgios’ second win over the world’s second-ranked player in two weeks, having beaten Djokovic in straight sets at Acapulco on March 2. Djokovic was bidding for a fourth consecutive title at Indian Wells, having won a total of five in his career. But he unraveled with 25 unforced errors, including a forehand service return on Kyrgios’ second match point. Kyrgios advanced to the quarterfinals, where he will face Federer. The 15th-seeded Australian hit 14 aces, with his fastest serve clocking 141 mph, and won 86 percent of his first serve points. Also joining Kyrgios in the quarterfinals were No. 4 seed Kei Nishikori, who defeated Donald Young 6-2, 6-4; 17th-seeded Jack Sock, a 4-6, 7-6 (1), 7-5 winner over Malek Jaziri; No. 21 Pablo Carreno Busta, who beat qualifier Dusan Lajovic; and No. 27 Pablo Cuevas, who outlasted 11th-seeded David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 6-3. On the women’s side, No. 8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova beat 19th-seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3, 6-2 to reach the semifinals.
Roger Federer straight up smokes Rafa Nadal 2 and 3 to reach the Indian Wells QFs vs Nick Kyrgios. pic.twitter.com/FnjG9b5eOO— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 16, 2017