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Nadal, Federer reach quarters

TOP-RANKED Rafael Nadal fended off five match points to take a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-0 victory over nemesis David Nalbandian at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

In a fourth-round match that began about 11pm on Wednesday and lasted until around 2am yesterday, Nadal climbed back after losing the first set and falling behind 3-5 in the second. He then overcame four match points in the ninth game, and another in the 10th.

The 22-year-old Spaniard broke Nalbandian's service to pull even at 5-5, then both held. Nadal shot out to a 4-0 lead on his way to winning the tiebreaker and the set.

He then dominated the third set against the Argentine player.

"I was lucky," Nadal said.

"I didn't go into the match with the best mentality. I didn't have a clear idea of how to play him, probably because I lost the last two matches against him. I have to play my game, and I didn't.

"I had a big save today. I hope to play more aggressive now," he said.

Earlier, Roger Federer ran his record against Fernando Gonzalez to 12-1 with a three-set victory to also move into the quarterfinals.

Federer, his play patchy but good enough to continue his domination of his frequent foe, ousted Gonzalez 6-3, 5-7, 6-2.

Andy Roddick rallied in the third set to beat David Ferrer 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3. Roddick finished with 10 aces against his Spanish opponent, who served eight of his own.

Roddick, ranked No. 7, had difficulty handling Ferrer's service returns in the second set, but he won 15 of 18 first serves in the third.

"My rhythm on my serve went off in the second set and I guess I was developing a pattern," Roddick said. "But he played well. I thought I hit the ball well in the second set.

"The guy's a bulldog and he just does the basics so well. He's a good player."

Andy Murray also advanced, extending his 2009 start to 18-1 when Tommy Robredo retired in the second set of their match because of a wrist injury. Murray won the first set 6-2 and was up 3-0 in the second.

Defending champion and No. 3 Novak Djokovic outlasted Stanislas Wawrinka 7-6 (7), 7-6 (6). Juan Martin del Potro defeated John Isner 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3), and Ivan Ljubicic downed Igor Andreev 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4). Fernando Verdasco defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

The quarterfinal matchups are Nadal-del Potro, Federer-Verdasco, Roddick-Djokovic, and Murray-Ljubicic.

On the women's side, No. 11 Victoria Azarenka had an upset win over top-seeded Dinara Safina 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-3 in a quarterfinal match. A 19-year-old from Belarus, Azarenka won titles at Brisbane and Memphis earlier this year. Withe the loss, Safina lost her chance to be come the world No. 1.

The top seed, who would have replaced Serena Williams as the world's top ranked player if had she reached the final, was well beaten by the 19-year-old eighth seed.

"I played pretty good the first set, especially on the tie-breaker," Safina said. "From the second set, I just gave it all into her hands, so she started to dominate. She's a very aggressive player, so she was just better than me."

No. 6 Vera Zvonareva also advanced, taking a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Caroline Wozniacki in their quarterfinal.


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