Fourth-seeded Roger Federer made quick work of Poland's Hubert Hurkacz on Friday to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open for the 12th time.
Second-seeded Rafael Nadal did his part later in the day, holding off Russian Karen Khachanov in their quarterfinal match at Indian Wells, Calif., to set up the 39th career meeting between the two stars.
Federer required just 73 minutes to record a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Hurkacz, while Nadal had to win two tiebreakers and played more than two hours to record a 7-6 (2), 7-6 (2) win over the 12th-seed Khachanov.
Nadal holds a 23-15 edge over Federer in their career, but the Swiss star is 2-1 against Nadal at Indian Wells.
"It's not every day you get to play a quarterfinal in Indian Wells, so I just tried to be focused and give my best," Nadal said after his victory. "I'm just happy to be in the semifinals. It's a beautiful thing for me and I'm happy with the way I've played the whole event."
While the Spaniard received a battle, Federer had an easier time and won all 10 of his service games.
Federer, ranked No. 4 in the world, withstood a late charge by Hurkacz in the final set. Hurkacz cut his deficit to 5-4 and pushed hard to even the match before Federer finished him off with a forehand.
Federer is two victories away from winning a record sixth BNP Paribas Open title. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic of Serbia also has won five. Djokovic was eliminated in the third round this week.
"At this stage of the tournament, you have to bring your best game," Federer said after his triumph. "I'm very excited to be in the semis here. Not that I didn't expect it, but it definitely went better than I thought it would."
The 22-year-old Hurkacz, a surprise quarterfinalist, had more aces than Federer -- six to four -- in a match that he knew would be an uphill battle.
"I was trying to compete, to fight, and believe that I can do it," Hurkacz told reporters. "Roger was playing great in the crucial moments. I had some small chances in the second set. But yeah, today was a great lesson for me."
The hard-serving Khachanov had 17 aces in the match against Nadal, who had just one. Nadal twice took medical timeouts to have his right knee worked on.
"That's part of my career, too," Nadal said. "I'm used sometimes to play with some problems."
Nadal improved to 6-0 all-time against Khachanov.
Nadal and Federer last met in 2017. Meanwhile, Federer has won the past five meetings.
"I don't think those five matches matter that much, to be honest," Federer said. "A lot of time has gone by, unfortunately maybe for the rivalry, for us, or for me. It's always better to keep on maybe playing against him."
--Field Level Media