Nadal Survives Baghdatis Clash; Tomic Ends Haas' Comeback
Stuttgart, Germany
by ATP Staff | 11.06.2015
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© ATP/Peter Staples

Top seed Rafael Nadal came through a tough opening match Thursday at the MercedesCup, battling past Marcos Baghdatis 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-2 to reach the quarter-finals in Stuttgart.

The Spaniard fought back from a break down to clinch the opening set and broke his Cypriot opponent twice to take control of the decider, claiming victory in two hours and 40 minutes.

"It was a little bit of a strange match," said Nadal. "I’m happy to be through. It’s an important victory for me. The first match on grass is always very difficult... At the beginning I didn’t play my best, but I finished the match much better than how I started."

Nadal, who is through to the doubles semi-finals with Feliciano Lopez, is playing in Stuttgart for the first time since lifting the trophy at the then-clay-court tournament in 2007 (d. Wawrinka). He also won the title in 2005 (d. Gaudio).

The 29-year-old Nadal notched his 30th win of the season. He is coming off a quarter-final exit at Roland Garros (l. to Djokovic), where he suffered just his second loss in 72 matches at the clay-court Grand Slam.

Next up for Nadal will be fifth seed Bernard Tomic, who reached his seventh ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season as he ended Tommy Haas’ comeback with a 7-6(6), 6-2 victory.

The Australian lost just 10 points on serve and converted two of his eight break points to win the match in 77 minutes. The 37-year-old Haas was playing his first tournament in 12 months, since undergoing shoulder surgery in June 2014.

"I was down 6-4 in the tie-break and managed to hit an unbelievable pass," said Tomic. "That was the turning point; I managed to hit the right shot at the right time. In the second set, I felt like I played the right tennis and played really well. Match by match I'm getting better, which is the most important thing I think."

"Losing the first set mentally put me in a bad mood," said Haas. "I thought about it probably for too long. Then I got broken right away in the second set and he took off from there. I felt my shoulder was getting a bit tight, which didn't help, but overall I'm pleased with the way I played."

German qualifier Mischa Zverev advanced to his first quarter-final in almost two years as he defeated Andreas Seppi 6-2, 6-4 in 76 minutes. The 27 year old goes on to challenge second seed Marin Cilic, who beat home hope Matthias Bachinger 7-6(2), 6-3 in the last match of the day.

"I'm just really, really happy," said Zverev. "It took me two years to get back into an ATP quarter-final. I've been through a lot, a lot of injuries and time out. Starting last off-season, where I trained with my brother, we had a lot of great weeks together. It gave me an extra little push to do well again on tour. Now I'm happy I can perform again and stay healthy."

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Success For Seeds In Stuttgart QFs
Second seeds Marcin Matkowski and Nenad Zimonjic advanced to the doubles semi-finals with a 7-6(6), 6-2 victory over Dustin Brown and Andreas Haider-Maurer in 64 minutes. They will face fourth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea, who beat Mate Pavic and Michael Venus 7-6(5), 6-2.

“It’s always tough, the first week on the grass,” said Zimonjic. “I’m happy that we went through today in two sets. It’s not going to be easy in the semi-finals. We’re expecting a tough match and we’re looking forward to the next challenge.”

Third seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares also reached the final four, beating Andre Begemann and Julian Knowle 6-4, 6-4.

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