Rafael Nadal wins at BNP Paribas Open, might meet Roger Federer in semis

Rafael Nadal defeated qualifier Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (Riverside County)..

Nadal remains on track for a potential semifinal against five-time champion Roger Federer in the bottom half of the draw. The top half was rocked by the upsets of top-ranked Novak Djokovic and third-seeded Alexander Zverev.

“The difference between players is not huge. It’s small gaps,” Nadal said about the upsets. “Is true that for the last 10 years didn’t happen very often.”

Krajinovic hadn’t dropped a set in winning his first three main-draw matches after two wins in qualifying to get into the $8.3 million event. He couldn’t overcome Nadal, who lost his serve just once in the 1½-hour match.

Next for Nadal is Karen Khachanov, who beat John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (1).

Federer blitzed Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-1. Philipp Kohlschreiber, who knocked out Djokovic, played Gael Monfils later Wednesday.

ELSEWHERE

Messi leads Barcelona to reach quarterfinals

Lionel Messi scored two goals before setting up two more as Barcelona beat visiting Lyon 5-1 to reach the Champions League quarterfinals for a 12th straight season.

After a 0-0 draw in the first leg, Luis Suarez helped Barcelona go up 2-0 by halftime by earning a penalty converted by Messi and then setting up Philippe Coutinho to score.

Lucas Tousart gave the visitors hope with a goal in the 58th minute after Barcelona failed to clear a corner kick. That meant Lyon needed only one more goal to advance, but Messi scored again in the 78th before passing for Gerard Pique and substitute Ousmane Dembele to round off the win.

“We suffered unnecessarily for a while after they made it 2-1,” said Messi, who matched Xavi Hernandez’s club record of 476 career victories. “We complicated things by letting our guard down on a set piece. After the 3-1, we could calm down.”

In Wednesday’s other game, Sadio Mane scored twice as Liverpool advanced with a 3-1 win at Bayern Munich.

Colleges: The University of Texas fired men’s tennis coach Michael Center after 18 seasons after he was among those indicted as part of a sweeping college-admissions bribery scandal.

Conviction upheld: Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez’s murder conviction was reinstated in a ruling from Massachusetts’ highest court that does away with the legal principle that made the former NFL player innocent in the eyes of the law after he killed himself in prison.

Hernandez was convicted in 2015 of killing semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd. Two years later, the 27-year-old killed himself in his prison cell days after being acquitted of most charges in a separate double-murder case.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Rafael-Nadal-wins-at-BNP-Paribas-Open-might-meet-13687119.php.

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