INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – It's still Federer against Nadal, but this time it will be in the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open.
Neither Federer nor Nadal lost a set in four games in the desert. Federer was broken once, while Nadal lost the service three times, twice against Khachanov.
Nadal, 32, opposes Federer's pursuit of a sixth record title at Indian Wells.
Despite everything, the Swiss superstar wanted Nadal to advance against his 22-year-old opponent.
"Playing against young people to get to Rafa is exciting," said Federer, who also faced an opponent of the same age as Khachanov.
Roger Federer defeated Hubert Hurkacz on Friday en route to a two-set victory in their quarter-final match. Clive Brunskill / Getty Images
Nadal's right knee broke in the second set for the first time in the tournament. He called a trainer who applied tape just below the knee. The coach came back again with Nadal leading 3-2 in the second set.
"My goal and my idea is to be ready for tomorrow," said Nadal. I can not guarantee when I wake up tomorrow morning. "
The 32-year-old Spaniard has had knee problems in recent years and ended his 2018 season after opening the US Open in September.
"I like playing on hard ground, but my body probably does not like it so much," said Nadal. "As I have already said, this is not just for today, but for tomorrow.So we will pay the price at the age of 45 or so something like that, it will not be good, when I see old legends walking around the tour, it's hard to see. "
Federer, 37, is on a five-game winning streak against Nadal, who has lost all four times in 2017, including the last time at the Shanghai Masters in October of the same year.
Venus Williams' determined run at Indian Wells is completed on the eve of a return to the semifinal, which will still feature a pair of intriguing fights.
"You think back to what I did right there, but you can not just copy-and-paste and reproduce exactly the same thing," said Federer, who has a 23-15 record in the overall rivalry .
Nadal improved to 6-0 against Khachanov, although it was harder and longer than Federer's victory.
Nadal led 6 to 5 before Khachanov 's mistake forced the second tie, dominated by Nadal, to end the match which lasted a little over two hours.
"He's incredible in defense," said Khachanov, "when you want to try to play more safely, he suddenly intervenes and counter-attacks, he intervenes and then he starts to move, and you're in trouble again. & # 39; & # 39;
Federer thinks that Nadal is playing better than in the final defeat of the Australian Open Novak Djokovicwho was upset earlier in the week.
"When Rafa is healthy, especially in a place like this in Indian Wells where he feels comfortable, he's clearly very hard to play," said Federer.
Against Hurkacz, Federer beat two points in the second set, including in the last match, when he closed the match with a winner on a short ball.
"It's not that I did not expect it," said Federer, "but it's gone way better than I thought."
Hurkacz, a 22-year-old Pole, won three sets of No. 28 Lucas Puglia, Number 6 Kei Nishikori and n ° 24 Denis Shapovalov to qualify for his first quarterfinal of ATP Masters 1000, against his idol of youth. Federer was in his 83rd position at this level.
"Playing against him for the first time on the large stadium of a large crowd was certainly different," said Hurkacz.
Federer recently won his 100th career title in Dubai. At age 37, he became the oldest player to win a World Championship title since Marty Riessen's victory in Lafayette, Louisiana, in 1979, at the same age.
"I hold my service comfortably.I am well placed mentally when I get into my service games," Federer said. "This has shown this week until now, so I hope to continue like this."
Federer won the only break from the first set of the fifth match. Hurkacz led 3-2 in the second set, but Federer closed the match with consecutive wins and an ace.
Hurkacz acceded to Federer to lead 5-4. Federer scored consecutive flys to give Hurkacz hope and another break point. But he came with a big serve to get to two. Hurkacz 's backhand on the line narrowly missed Federer' s point, and the Swiss superstar won with a forehand.
"Roger played very well in crucial moments, and today was a great lesson for me," said Hurkacz. "I had a few small chances, so give me the motivation to work and go from time to time."