Rafael Nadal
Spain's Rafael Nadal reacts after missing a shot during his semi-final tennis match against Austria's Dominic Thiem at the ATP Argentina Open in Buenos Aires, February 13, 2016. Reuters/Marcos Brindicci

Rafael Nadal is bound for another epic battle with compatriot Fernando Verdasco when the two meet each other in the third round of Indian Wells.

Nadal will once again face Verdasco in what could be another potential thrilling match in this year’s first ATP 1000 Masters event. The 29-year-old Mallorcan was tested in his opening campaign at the Californian desert, defeating Luxembourgish Gilles Muller in three sets 6-2 2-6 6-4.

"[I'm] very happy for the victory after my last three matches that I've lost have been in three sets or five sets," Nadal said, reports the ATP’s official website. "So I needed a victory like this. I was very happy about my attitude. [It] was a great victory for me."

The victory gave Nadal a confidence boost after he suffered a two-week losing streak prior to Indian Wells. However, with his next opponent being Verdasco, who advanced into the Round of 32 after Slovak Martin Klizan retired hurt, the 14-time Grand Slam winner faces another daunting task that could delay his bid to win his first title of the season.

"I need to play better in the next match," Nadal said. "I play against a tough opponent [Verdasco]. He beat me in Australia this year."

Nadal leads Verdasco 14-3 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head matchup, but the former has lost three of their last four meetings. Their most recent showdown in the opening round of the Australian Open displayed another thrilling back-and-forth game, with Verdasco winning in five sets to kick start Nadal’s losing slump early in the season.

Nadal or Verdasco could face the winner between Alexander Zverev and Gilles Simon at the Round of 16 stage of Indian Wells.

Live streaming info and score updates

Watch the Indian Wells 2016 live via ATP’s official website or TennisTV. Live scores for matches will be available on game days via ATP's official website.