Rafael Nadal breezes into Hamburg semi-finals

Hamburg: Top seed Rafael Nadal defeated fifth seed Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 6-2 yesterday to set up a Hamburg semi-final clash against Italian veteran Andreas Seppi.

Nadal, 29, broke the Cuevas serve five times on his way to a second triumph over the Uruguayan this year, having also beaten the South American in the Rio de Janeiro quarter-finals in February.

Rafael Nadal returns to Pablo Cuevas yesterday. Pic/AFP

Nadal is playing in Hamburg for the first time since 2008, when he lifted the trophy with victory over Roger Federer, as the left-hander looks to breathe life back into his flagging season.

Seppi enjoyed a walkover into today’s semi-finals when Simone Bolelli withdrew due to gastroenteritis.

Seppi trails Nadal 1-5 in career clashes with his only win coming in 2008 in Rotterdam. The other semi-final sees French qualifier Lucas Pouille face Italy’s Fabio Fognini. World No 85 Pouille defeated Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-2. Eighth seed Fognini beat Britain’s Aljaz Bedene 6-4, 7-5.

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