World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Roger Federer survived tough scrapes in the round of 16 on Wednesday at Indian Wells, with Djokovic up again on Thursday after a tough three-setter.
Djokovic overcame a second-set hiccup to defeat Spaniard Pablo Andujar 6-0, 6-7(5), 6-2, setting up a meeting with the hot-handed No. 12 seed Nicolas Almagro, who steamrolled No. 7 Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-0.
“He surprised me with his aggressive approach. He was taking the ball early and was playing well,” Djokovic said of Andujar. “Second set, I start playing a little bit more defensive, and that allowed him to come back to the match. All the credit for him to play the way he played. The second set I could have won, but I managed to stay calm mentally and just find my rhythm again.”
Federer likewise needed three sets to subdue Tomaz Bellucci 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
“I struggled early on making the transition from day to night,” Federer said. “I wasn’t playing well so it was good to get the win.”
Other winners were No. 2 Rafael Nadal, No. 13 Gilles Simon outlasting American Ryan Harrison 6-1 in the third, No. 11 John Isner, and unseeded David Nalbandian upsetting No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three. Nadal and Nalbandian will meet in a much-anticipated grinder.
In women’s singles quarterfinals action on Wednesday, world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka blew out No. 5 Aga Radwanska 6-0, 6-2, and No. 18 Angelique Kerber upset No. 8 Li Na 6-4, 6-2.
“I was executing my shots brilliantly,” said Azarenka who improved to 21-0 on the season.
Radwanska fell to 1-5 career against Azarenka.
“I was pissed, yeah, in the first set especially losing 6-love is not fun,” Radwanska said. “Especially when you expect that you’re at this kind of level that you can beat anyone. But then I was seeing that she was playing just too good.”
The top-ranked American doubles pair of twins Bob and Mike Bryan withdrew from their quarterfinal match when Mike fell ill with the viral illness sweeping through the tournament.
Thursday play includes (1) Novak Djokovic vs. (12) Nicolas Almagro, an all-Russian match-up with (2) Maria Sharapova va. (20) Maria Kirilenko, (7) Marion Bartoli vs. (15) Ana Ivanovic, and Gilles Simon vs. (11) John Isner.
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
 M Bartoli (FRA) vs  A Ivanovic (SRB) – WTA
Not Before 1:00 PM
 N Djokovic (SRB) vs  N Almagro (ESP) – ATP
Not Before 3:00 PM
 M Kirilenko (RUS) vs  M Sharapova (RUS) – WTA
 M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL) vs M Lopez (ESP) / R Nadal (ESP) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
 G Simon (FRA) vs  J Isner (USA) – ATP
 A Hlavackova (CZE) / L Hradecka (CZE) vs  S Mirza (IND) / E Vesnina (RUS) – WTA
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