The “Big Four” were all in action Wednesday at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, and all came through to set up some monster quarterfinals.
Former No. 1s Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will meet in the quarters after the Swiss survived a 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-5 meeting against countryman Stan Wawrinka, and Nadal needed to come back from a set down to defeat qualifier Ernests Gulbis 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
“Okay, I should maybe closed it out in the second set, but he did well to stay in it,” Federer said of Wawrinka. “At the end, I don’t know what [got] me through. Maybe it’s the experience or maybe a bit more calm in those moments. I’m not sure. Today I think I was a little lucky to come through it in the end.”
Nadal ended Gulbis’ streak after the Latvian qualified and won Delray Beach, then qualified to the Indian Wells draw.
“I was more aggressive. I went for my shots much more than him,” Gulbis said. “But he did really incredibly well, as he always does, on the important points. It’s really tough to beat the guy.”
It will be the first meeting between Federer and Nadal since the Swiss beat the Spaniard last year at Indian Wells.
No. 3 Andy Murray topped unseeded Argentine Carlos Berlocq 7-6(4), 6-4 to set up a quarterfinal clash with No. 7 Juan Martin Del Potro, who powered past No. 17 Tommy Haas 6-1, 6-2.
“It was tough,” said Murray after his opponent served for the first set at 5-4. “He started well and he was playing very aggressive…And then the second set was kind of the other way around. I had a lot of chances, but it was still tight. All the games were pretty close, a lot of long games and longish rallies.”
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic rolled past Sam Querrey as expected, but had trouble finishing off the American who had beaten him last year, finally triumphing 6-0, 7-6(6) at almost 2 a.m. local time.
Djokovic will next meet No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who came from a set down to defeat No. 17 Milos Raonic 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.
“It’s not a great feeling right now,” Raonic said. “I sort of had my foot on the pedal and I just let off. It’s dangerous, especially against any guy in this group. Obviously the Top 4 will make you pay for it much more, but any guy after that I think it’s a really tight group that everybody will make you pay.”
No. 6 Tomas Berdych and unseeded Kevin Anderson also lined up a quarterfinal meeting after Berdych beat No. 10 Richard Gasquet 6-1, 7-5, and Anderson outlasted No. 13 Gilles Simon 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.
On the women’s side Wednesday, the two Marias were the first players into the semifinals — No. 2 seed Maria Sharapova and No. 13 Maria Kirilenko.
Sharapova defeated No. 6 Sara Errani 7-6(6), 6-2, while Kirilenko needed to come from behind to defeat No. 5 Petra Kvitova 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
“This definitely wasn’t my best match of the tournament,” said Sharapova, who fought off two set points in the first set, and sprayed unforced errors throughout the match. “I started quite slowly today. But I’m happy I’ve given myself another opportunity to be in the semifinals here, one of the toughest stages of one of the toughest tournaments for us. I hope to go further again this year.”
Kirilenko will face Sharapova in the semis.
“I had some problems with my knee during the first set but was able to keep fighting and win,” Kirilenko said of overcoming Kvitova.
SCHEDULE — THURSDAY
STADIUM 1 start 11:00 am
 A Kerber (GER) vs  S Stosur (AUS)
Not Before 1:00 PM
 T Berdych (CZE) vs K Anderson (RSA)
Not Before 3:00 PM
 V Azarenka (BLR) vs  C Wozniacki (DEN)
Not Before 7:00 PM
 R Nadal (ESP) vs  R Federer (SUI)
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