Indian Wells, CA – World No. 2 Rafael Nadal and No. 3 round matchups at the $4.695 million BNP Paribas Masters, the first ATP World Tour Masters event of the year.
Nadal, who was last year's runner-up to fellow two-time Indian Wells champ Novak Djokovic, needed just an hour and 27 minutes to dispose of fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers, the 26th seed, 6-1, 6-4 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Federer captured this event three years straight from 2004-06 but needed all three sets to knock off 27th-seeded Canadian Milos Raonic 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4 in a match that lasted two hours and seven minutes.
No. 6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France also needed three sets to defeat his opponent, 28th-seeded Czech Radek Stepanek. Tsonga fended off a first set loss to oust Stepanek 6-7 (2-7), 6-3, 6-2.
Argentinean David Nalbandian knocked off No. 10 Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in just under two hours, while 21st-seeded Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov held off Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to advance.
World No. 51 Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan upended fifth-ranked Spaniard David Ferrer 6-4, 6-3 and ninth-seeded Argentine slugger Juan Martin del Potro held his big serve throughout and avoided an upset by topping 19th-seeded Spanish lefty Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 7-6 (8-6).
Ferrer recently captured back-to-back clay-court titles in Buenos Aires and Acapulco. The former U.S. Open champion del Potro titled in France recently and was a runner-up to Federer in Rotterdam last month.
Del Potro will meet Istomin in the round of 16 here, while Tsonga meets Nalbandian in the next round. Nadal faces off against Dolgopolov and on the other side of the bracket, Federer faces Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil after his opponent, Russian Nikolay Davydenko, withdrew due to illness to finish out the round of 16.
The 2012 Indian Wells champion will collect $1 million.