Federer and Nadal face off again

Updated: March 17, 2012

Three-time champion Roger Federer and twice winner Rafa Nadal won their quarterfinal matches at the Indian Wells ATP tournament on Friday to set up an enticing last four showdown.

Federer booked his place in the semifinals with a ruthless 6-3 6-2 victory over big-serving Juan Martin Del Potroof Argentina before Nadal fought back to beat David Nalbandian, also of Argentina, 4-6 7-5 6-4.

Saturday’s other semifinal will pit Serbian world No 1 Novak Djokovic against 11th-seeded American John Isner, both players having advanced on Thursday.

In the ladies draw, world No 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus charged into the final of the Indian Wells WTA tournament with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Germany’s Angelique Kerber on Friday.

Both players struggled to hold serve in breezy conditions on the showpiece stadium court but Azarenka sealed the win by breaking her 18th-seeded opponent in the ninth game of the second set when the German hit a forehand long.

Australian Open champion Azarenka will face second-seeded Maria Sharapova in Sunday’s final after 2008 winner Ana Ivanovic of Serbia retired hurt from the second semifinal because of an injured left hip while trailing the Russian 6-4, 0-1.

The title showdown at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden will be a repeat of the Australian Open final in January when Azarenka won her first grand slam title with a crushing 6-3 6-0 victory over Sharapova