Three-time champion Rafael Nadal and five-time champion Roger Federer both earned a berth in the quarterfinals at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Wednesday, one step away from another possible classic clash in the semis.
Following both their victories, the two champions now increased their odds to face each other in the semifinals to fill fans with excitement.
Nadal needed nearly 90 minutes to get through, beating qualifier Filip Krajinovic 6-3 6-4. Though Nadal was not fully-satisfied with his performance in the match and said, "I probably played a little bit worse today than yesterday".
The 22-year-old will next face Canadian teenager Denis Shapovalov, who continued his run of dominant serving without being broken on his way to an impressive 6-4 6-2 win over 10th seeded Croat Marin Cilic.
World number four Federer, who has yet to drop a set at the tournament, saved all seven break points that he faced and won 79% of first serve points.
He next will take on 13th-ranked Russian Karen Khachanov, who beat world number nine John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (7/1).
A five-time champion at Indian Wells, Federer's first meeting with Kyle Edmund was straightforward, claiming a 6-1 6-4 win. According to William Hill, Federer is a 1/14 favorite to advance past Hurkacz, while Nadal (1/5) is believed to be in a slightly more competitive match.
"The previous days here in Indian Wells helped me a lot to get back to my top level physically and also to play good tennis again", Thiem said.
A day after world number one Novak Djokovic tumbled out of the third round, 19-year-old Miomir Kecmanovic kept the Serbian flag flying. The 27-year-old Serb got into the main draw when Kevin Anderson withdrew before his opening match with an elbow injury.
"He's been around for so many years and he doesn't really get overwhelmed by the occasion of playing on center court", he told reporters. Thiem said putting 87 percent of his first serves in play was key in his first meeting with Karlovic.
"I felt pretty confident on my own service games. That's what I transferred also to the return games", he said.
Oddsmakers don't see much of a difference between the two veterans at the moment.
Federer, who was playing the British number one for the first time, won 6-1 6-4 in one hour and four minutes.