Tennis: Nadal powers into Indian Wells fourth round

Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a backhand against fellow countryman Fernando Verdasco.
Rafael Nadal of Spain plays a backhand against fellow countryman Fernando Verdasco.PHOTO: AFP

INDIAN WELLS, United States (AFP) - Three-time champion Rafael Nadal powered into the fourth round at Indian Wells on Tuesday (March 14), where he could find Roger Federer waiting.

The world number six edged fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-5 to keep his challenge for a first title of 2017 on course.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion hasn't won a hard court crown since 2014.

He will face the winner of Tuesday's match between American Steve Johnson and Federer - who beat the Spaniard in an epic Australian Open final in January to claim an 18th Grand Slam title.