Rafael Nadal reached the quarter-finals of the Hamburg Open with a hard-fought, unconvincing 6–4, 7- 6(2) win over Jiri Vesely.
The 2008 champion now has a 23-6 match record on clay this season and will be looking to add one more to his tally of 46 clay titles.
The World No. 10, who is the top-seed at the Hamburg Open struggled to find rhythm but ultimately won a tight match which lasted over two hours. The win was also his first back-to-back victory in three tournaments.
Nadal and Vesely traded breaks to start the match, but Nadal clinched the decisive break in the third game. The Spaniard himself had to save a break point before winning the opening set.
The second-set began with both players holding their serves. After that both players broke each other’s serve in game 3, 4 and 5 with Nadal breaking Vesely’s serve twice. Nadal then conceded two consecutive double faults at match point to take the set into a tie-break. The former World number one looked sluggish with his service throughout the match with double-faults at crucial parts of the game. Nadal eventually clinched the second set in the tie-break and cemented a place in the quarter-finals.
Nadal is looking to win his first European clay tournament this year and will be facing the fifth-seed Pablo Cuevas in the next round who battled past Jerzy Janowicz 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. This will be the second meeting between the two players with Nadal winning the first time.