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Rafael Nadal Advances in Indian Wells -- Barely

  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Somdev Devvarman, of India, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., Wednesday, March 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

    Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Somdev Devvarman, of India, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., Wednesday, March 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)  (AP2011)

  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Somdev Devvarman, of India, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., Wednesday, March 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

    Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Somdev Devvarman, of India, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif., Wednesday, March 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)  (AP2011)

Rafael Nadal won, but he sure got a scare.

The Spaniard survived a tough match against Somdev Devvarman 7-5, 6-4 Wednesday night. The No. 1-ranked player in tennis advanced to the semifinals at the Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

Roger Federer moved on, too. The second-best player in the world defeated Ryan Harrison 7-6 (4), 6-3. He is 17-2 this year.

Nadal, a two-time winner here, won a tight first set, then held serve to lead 5-4 in the second. He got some breathing room on Devvarman's serve, going up 40-love and sending a forehand past the 26-year-old Indian at the net to close out the match.

"The first set for me was really bad because I wasn't able to play aggressive with my forehand," Nadal said. "I played much better in the end of the match than in the beginning."

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Nadal improved to 29-4 at Indian Wells, where he's made the semifinals or better the last five years, winning in 2007 and '09.

Novak Djokovic extended his winning streak to 15 matches with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over fellow Serb Viktor Troicki.

Djokovic, ranked third in the world, has lost just six games in his first three matches at Indian Wells, where he won the 2008 title. Djokovic's perfect match record this year includes winning titles at the Australian Open and Dubai, where he beat Roger Federer in the final.

Troicki, the 16th seed, hadn't lost a set here until he ran into Djokovic on a day when temperatures in the desert soared to near 90 degrees — 10 to 15 degrees warmer than usual for the second straight day.

Troicki came into the match with a 14-5 record, but Djokovic dominated from the beginning in winning for the eighth straight time against him. Djokovic's last loss came in November against Federer in the ATP World Tour finals in London.

Djokovic and Troicki later teamed up for a doubles match and lost.

Eighth-seeded Andy Roddick fought his temper and No. 18 Richard Gasquet, losing 6-3, 7-6 (5). It was Gasquet's second win over a top-10 player this week, having taken out No. 10 Jurgen Melzer in the third round.

"He outplayed me from the first ball. He was obviously very confident," Roddick said. "I tried to force it and be more aggressive in the second, but when you play that way, it starts coming in bunches. You win in bunches and you lose in bunches."

Roddick argued with the chair umpire when he trailed 3-1 in the second set, telling the umpire he was giving him a warning of his own. He rallied to lead 6-5 before a backhand error allowed Gasquet to force the tiebreaker.

"With the mistakes he made, it's only fair that I would give him a warning," Roddick said. "I only made one mistake. I only broke one racket. He missed a couple of calls, so I feel like it was a little presumptuous of him to give me a warning off one broken racket."

Roddick fell behind 5-2 in the tiebreaker, tossing his racket when Gasquet hit a winner into the corner off his drop shot. Roddick rallied again, hitting a forehand winner on the run to get to 5-5. Gasquet got to match point, with Roddick's first serve just missing. The Frenchman hit a backwinner off his second serve to close out the match.

Juan Martin del Potro beat his third seeded player, this time taking out No. 32 Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (3), 7-6 (7).

Del Potro, from Argentina, improved his match record to 17-4 this year as he rebounds from an injury-marred 2010. He has surged from No. 484 to 90th in the world rankings in a three-week span, winning a title at Delray Beach, Fla., and reaching the semifinals in two other tournaments.

"I am playing better than two months ago. I know it's a long road, but I'm still improving my serve, my forehand," he said. "It's very tough to play every day against these kind of players, and I need time to feel 100 percent again."

Now, Del Potro is into the quarterfinals, where he will play 25th-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain. Robredo beat 21st-seeded American Sam Querrey 6-1, 6-3.

Earlier in the tournament, Del Potro beat defending champion and No. 14 seed Ivan Ljubicic and No. 20 Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine.

Robredo was hobbled by a leg problem at 2-2 in the second set in his match against Querrey. He first got treatment on his leg two weeks ago.

"I felt something there and then it was very tough for me to play," he said. "Luckily, I could win. I have one day to recover and hopefully I can go through."

In other matches, No. 7 Tomas Berdych lost in three sets to Stanislas Wawrinka, and No. 23 Albert Montanes fell to Ivo Karlovic.

In women's quarterfinals, Yanina Wickmayer beat No. 10 seed Shahar Peer 6-3, 6-3 and No. 15 Marion Bartoli ended Ana Ivanovic's run with a 6-4, 7-6 (4).

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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