Garbine Muguruza: 'Federer-Nadal? Nobody cares who wins anymore...'

Three-time Indian Wells champion Rafael Nadal got off to a strong start on Wednesday at the BNP Paribas Open, powering past Guido Pella 6-3, 6-2 in his opening match at the 2017 event.

For Nadal, a 6-3, 7-5 victor over fellow Spanish left-hander Fernando Verdasco, encounters with his Swiss rival will never get old.

Rafael Nadal swept Fernando Verdasco, 6-3, 7-5, to earn his 50th career Indian Wells victory.

However, the Swiss maestro set up another meeting with great rival Nadal, their first since their enthralling Australian Open final in January.

Novak Djokovic, champion of the last three editions, extended his tournament win streak to 19 matches with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 ouster of Juan Martin del Potro. "That's it. For the rest of the match I think I played very well". I think it's really important'.

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Without a win against Federer since the Australian Open in 2014 - a run of back-to-back defeats - Nadal knows he has his work cut out in the earliest meeting between the pair since the third round of the Miami Open in 2004.

It was hard to separate Federer and Johnson in the first set as games went the way of serve, with neither creating a single break point in normal play.

But Nadal gained the break he needed for a 6-5 lead in a game Verdasco book-ended with double faults, and served it out without a hitch.

Djokovic is trying to get back to the winner's circle after a shock second-round exit at the Australian Open and a quarter-final loss to Kyrgios in Acapulco.

He's drawn in the so-called "quarter of death" that also features second-seeded Novak Djokovic, the three-time defending champion and five-time overall Indian Wells victor, along with four-time champion Roger Federer. "I've gone through so many draws". "Obviously Nadal and Federer are starting to build their rankings".

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That "everything" will be on display today (March 15), along about 5 p.m. Federer held off a stubborn and fast-rising Johnson in Tuesday's twilight, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4).

"I played much better than the first day".

The bottom half of the draw also features fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori of Japan, who eased past Britain's Daniel Evans 6-3, 6-4. I try to focus on my next round, and not look beyond that.

Federer did not feature in second half of the season a year ago due to knee problems, but the Swiss ace has been in great form since his return.

In other women's matches on Sunday, third-seeded Karolina Pliskova, inserted at the top of the draw after Serena Williams's late injury withdrawal, edged Romanian Irina Camelia Begu 6-4, 7-6 (7/2).

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