Roger Federer has stayed on course to face long-time rival Rafa Nadal, beating Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-4 in the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals at Indian Wells, California on Friday.
Federer broke his 67th-ranked Polish opponent once in each set and that was all the Swiss needed to prevail in just over an hour on the outdoor hardcourt.
It was the first match between the pair and far from one-sided, as Hurkacz had two break points but could seize neither.
“I was trying to fight, compete and believe I can do it,” Hurkacz told reporters.
“Roger was playing great in the crucial moments.
I had some small chances in the second set.
“He’s changing directions all the time (with his serve) so it’s really hard to read it.”
Federer had fans in awe during a ‘ridiculous’ moment in the second set.
The Swiss Maestro looked set to lose the rally on multiple occasions, but somehow won it after an insane pick-up between his legs at point-blank range at the net.
The crazy shot left fans in awe.
It Looks ridiculous! Federer has to Do something to make The match a little amusing!! It's sad that such a player plays in the QF!!!!
— Britta Hamburg (@brittahamburg) March 15, 2019
— Massy (@Massy_life) March 15, 2019
😳😳😳😳😳😳😳 ONLY MAESTRO CAN DO THIS R❤️F 💯🏆
— Zoi Billi (@zoi_billi) March 15, 2019
Come at the king, you best not miss!🙌
— Sohan Bhat (@sohanstark) March 15, 2019
37 years old 😂
— Léo (@Leotendo23) March 15, 2019
Federer and Nadal in dream showdown
Next up on Saturday for fourth seed Federer will be his 39th career encounter with Nadal, who got past Russian Karen Khachanov later on Friday.
Nadal leads Federer 23-15 on a head-to-head basis but the Swiss has won the past five encounters.
They have not met since Shanghai in 2017, the same year that Federer beat Nadal 6-2 6-3 in the fourth round at Indian Wells.
The other semi-final will match Austrian seventh seed Dominic Thiem and Canadian 13th seed Milos Raonic.