Roger Federer swatted aside old foe Rafael Nadal to set up Indian Wells quarter-final against Nick Kyrgios who overpowered Novak Djokovic for the second time in as many weeks on Wednesday.
Fedal: a re-run of the Australian Open final
Federer, who added another chapter to a storied rivalry with Nadal with an epic Australian Open triumph in January, dismantled the Spaniard 6-2, 6-3.
It was the first time since their first meeting in 2004 that Federer and Nadal had met before the quarter-finals of a tournament. An oddity of the rankings had them and Djokovic - with 44 Grand Slam titles among the three of them - all grouped in the same quarter of the draw.
Federer broke Nadal to open the match, and seized a second break and 4-1 with a blistering backhand service return winner.
A forehand volley sealed the set, and another forehand winner put Federer up a break at 2-1 in the second.
Federer was firmly in control as Nadal served to save the match at 5-3. An unlucky netcord bounce, when Nadal's forehand clipped the net and rolled back, gave Federer a double match point, and with a backhand return down the line the 36th meeting between the two was his.
The win marks the first time in the rivalry that Federer has strung together three wins over Nadal.
"In Australia was a very close match," Nadal said. "I had good chances to win. Today, not. Today he played better than me. These kind of matches, when you're not playing your match, it's impossible to win."
Top two out early in Indian Wells
World number three Stan Wawrinka, the highest-ranked player remaining after the departures of Djokovic and world number one Andy Murray, labored past lucky loser Yoshihito Nishioka 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) to reach the quarters.
Nishioka, ranked 70th in the world, twice served for the match in the third set but was broken both times before Wawrinka subdued him in the tiebreaker.
"I'm really happy to get through for sure," said Wawrinka. "You have to be a little bit lucky when he served twice for the match."
Wawrinka will face eighth-seeded Dominic Thiem for a place in the semi-finals. The Austrian beat France's Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-2.
Fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan quietly reached the last eight with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over American Donald Young. He'll face American Jack Sock, who beat Tunisia's Malek Jaziri 4-6, 7-6 (7/1), 7-5.