March 14, 2017 -- Indian Wells, California

Long hot days have set the stage at the BNP Paribas Open as Roger took to the courts in his 3rd round match in Indian Wells.

Playing steady and solid, he defeated American Stevie Johnson 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4) to set up his 36th meeting against Rafael Nadal.

In what will be a rematch of the 2017 Australian Open finals, the two will face each other in the Round of 16 Wednesday, March 15th not before 5pm PST. The last time these two rivals met this early in a draw goes back to 2004 in the Miami Masters.

"I think he's made me a better player," Roger said during the Australian Open earlier this year. "Because the way his game stacks up with me. It's a tricky one. I've said that openly. It remains for me the ultimate challenge to play against him."