Two-time Indian Wells champion Rafael Nadal put up an impressive performance to beat rival and defending champion Roger Federer 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas 2013 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Thursday evening.

“I played a fantastic first set, in my opinion. The second set was strange,” said Nadal. “The second set, I think Roger didn’t fight as usual. He probably had some problems and he didn’t feel enough comfortable to keep fighting. Both of us tried to play our best. I played much better than yesterday. My movements today were much, much better than yesterday, so I’m very happy for that, especially after a long match yesterday, to be able to compete well the next day.”

The victory was also a reversal of Nadal’s fate against Federer in last year’s tournament. In 2012, Federer defeated Nadal in the semifinals en route to his fourth Indian Wells title. This is a first in many years that Federer and Nadal have played against each other in a match prior to the semifinals.

Nadal won the Indian Wells title in 2007 and 2009. He’s gunning for a record-setting 22 ATP World TOur Masters 1000 title. He and Federer currently have 21 Masters titles each.

Nadal will next face Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic on Saturday’s semifinals.