Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns a shot to Fernando Verdasco, of Spain, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, March 14, 2017, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Mark J. Terrill
March 14, 2017

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) Rafael Nadal defeated Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 7-5 in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open for his 50th career victory at the desert tournament.

Nadal closed out the 1 1/2-hour match in 95-degree (35 C) heat with a forehand winner on Tuesday. The three-time tournament champion could next face Roger Federer, who played American Steve Johnson later.

Five-time Indian Wells winner Novak Djokovic takes on 2013 finalist Juan Martin del Potro at night.

On the women's side, Venus Williams and Madison Keys played fourth-round matches later.

In other matches, No. 4 seed Kei Nishikori routed 25th-seeded Gilles Muller 6-2, 6-2, and American Donald Young defeated 14th-seeded Lucas Pouille 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

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