Tennis: Nadal, Lopez advance to fourth round at Indian Wells

Rafael Nadal of Spain serves during his straight set victory over Fernando Verdasco. Photo / Getty Images
Rafael Nadal of Spain serves during his straight set victory over Fernando Verdasco. Photo / Getty Images

Spanish tennis players Rafael Nadal and Feliciano Lopez have progressed to the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells by defeating their compatriots Fernando Verdasco and Roberto Bautista, respectively.

Nadal beat Verdasco 6-0 7-6(9) in one hour and 42 minutes. His rival on Thursday will be German rising star Alexander Zverev, who beat Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-2 6-2.

The Spaniard took the first set and then managed to prevail despite the courage and perseverance of his competitor.

"I am here to keep fighting. I love this sport. My goal is to move forward. It is important winning sets like today. It is an important victory to me," he said in the press conference following his victory.

He only had words of praise for his rival Zverev.

"He is a clear possible No.1 in the future. He is a fantastic player. He has a great physique ... He has everything to become a big star and is playing well," Nadal said.

"It will be a tough match and I must be ready to fight and suffer. I will try to be aggressive."

Meanwhile, Lopez had a tough time against Roberto Bautista but ended up taking the match 7-6(5) 6-7(10) 6-4 in three hours and 16 minutes.

Lopez's next opponent will be the world No.1, Novak Djokovic, who knocked out Philipp Kohlschreiber.

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