Tennis

Rafael Nadal survived a scare at Indian Wells.

Rafael Nadal battles past Alexander Zverev into BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals

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Rafael Nadal fought off match point before hitting back to beat rising star Alexander Zverev and book his place in the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals.

The former world number one was staring defeat in the face when the German approached the net with the score 40-30 at 5-4 in the deciding set.

But Zverev put a simple volley into the net, Nadal went on to break and then win the final two games, winning 15 of the last 16 points, to claim a 6-7 (10/8) 6-0 7-5 victory.

Nadal's famous battling spirit came to the fore at Indian Wells - he also saved a break point that would have given Zverev a 5-1 lead in the third set - and he was delighted to get through.

"I'm very happy for the victory, obviously. I was fighting during the whole match," said Nadal on the tournament's official website. "It's obvious that I played against a great player, a player who was serving unbelievable, at the beginning especially.

"I am especially happy about the mentality on court, the fighting spirit during the whole match, believing that I can win a match during the whole time even in the tougher situations. I'm sorry for him. But I think at the same time, I deserve a victory like this after a couple of losses with big chances to win, too."

Nadal's reward is a last-eight meeting with Kei Nishikori after the fifth seed needed two tie-breaks to see off big-serving American John Isner.

Nishikori also saved a match point to emerge a 1-6 7-6 (7/2) 7-6 (7/5) winner.

Reigning champion Novak Djokovic was not forced to work as hard for his win as he routinely beat Feliciano Lopez in straight sets.

The world number one needed just 67 minutes to claim a 6-3 6-3 success and exact revenge on the Spaniard after losing to him in Dubai last month.

Third-seed Stan Wawrinka was the biggest casualty of the day as he lost in three sets to David Goffin.

The Belgian won 6-3 7-5 7-6 (7/5) to claim a rare victory against a top-10 opponent.

Milos Raonic edged a tight contest with Tomas Berdych 6-4 7-6 (9/7), Gael Monfils eased past Andy Murray's conqueror Federico Delbonis 6-3 6-4, Marin Cilic beat Richard Gasquet 7-5 5-7 6-2 while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was too good for Dominic Thiem in a 6-3 6-2 win.

In the women's event, Serena Williams reached the semi-finals with a emphatic victory over Simona Halep.

Williams was at her imposing best to earn a 6-4 6-3 success in just 70 minutes.

Agnieszka Radwanska is waiting for her in the last four after a 6-2 7-6 (7/3) win over Petra Kvitova in her quarter-final.

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