Nadal battles past Vesely to reach Hamburg Open quarters

Hamburg: Top seed Rafael Nadal defeated his Czech opponent Jiri Vesely in straight sets to advance to the quarter-finals of the Hamburg Open on Thursday.

Rafael Nadal. Pic/AFP
Rafael Nadal. Pic/AFP 

The 14-time Grand Slam champion overcame Vesely 6-4, 7-6 (2) in the second round contest that lasted two hours and 11 minutes.

Although Nadal eventually prevailed over Vesely in a topsy-turvy affair, the Spaniard was clearly struggling to regain past form.

The top-seeded Mallorcan, playing the summer clay-court tournament for the first time in seven years, goes on to face fifth-seeded Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas, who battled past Jerzy Janowicz of Poland 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.

Nadal, the 2008 champion in Hamburg, extended his clay record in 2015 to 23-6 as he looks to add to his 46 clay-court titles. Nadal has endured a tough year, losing his French Open title, getting knocked out in the second round at Wimbledon and seeing his ranking slump to 10, his lowest in a decade.

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