- Nadal Made to Work in Straight-Sets Win over Vesely (via Tennis Now)
Rafael Nadal’s summer excursion in Hamburg continued with another victory on Thursday, but the king of clay had his share of struggles. In the end Nadal triumphed over the 6’6” Jiri Vesely, 6-4, 7-6(2), despite the fact that he struggled to find rhythm on the forehand and the serve.
His potential opponents in the last two rounds, should he get by Cuevas and the seeds hold, would be 4th-seeded Andreas Seppi in the semis and 8th-seeded Fabio Fognini in the final.
- Nadal Sets Cuevas Clash (via ATP World Tour)
The 2008 champion now holds a 23-6 match record on clay this season as he looks to add to his 46 clay-court titles.
“I think I played a good match,” said Nadal. “Something that I am proud of today, very happy with, [is] my attitude and [I’m] very happy with the way that I played. I just need a little bit more consistency.”
- Nadal cashing in on weak Hamburg field (via ESPN)
Nadal, who’s ranked No. 10 and is top-seeded in Hamburg despite being a late wild-card entry, also needs ranking points. He needs them badly if he hopes to be among the top eight seeds at the major hard-court events. If he can slip into the top eight, he will avoid a meeting with a Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic before the quarterfinals.
That also helps explain why Nadal asked for the wild card into Hamburg after he was unexpectedly knocked out of Wimbledon in the second round by Dustin Brown.
Nothing wrong with that. In fact, Nadal would have been crazy to pass up the chance to play Hamburg, what with 500 ATP ranking points on offer and No. 21Tommy Robredo the next highest-ranked player on the entry list. Should Nadal win, he will leapfrog over No. 9 Marin Cilic and No. 8 Milos Raonic and find safe haven.
- Nadal avanza a trompicones (via El Pais)
Gane o pierda, brille o no lo haga, los partidos de Rafael Nadal (6-4 y 7-6 a Jiri Vesely) en los últimos tiempos se traducen en una especie de penitencia. Cada bola, cada movimiento o cada golpeo se convierten en un ejercicio autocrítico del español, sometido a su propio juicio (y al ajeno) una y otra vez, afligido la mayor parte del tiempo que permanece sobre la pista. Nadal, ahora en el décimo peldaño del ránking, juega como si tuviera que demostrarse una vez sí y otra también que lo vale, que aún es un tenista competitivo; que lo conseguido conseguido está, pero que aún le queda cuerda para bailar entre los gigantes del circuito.
- Rafael Nadal into Hamburg Open quarter-finals
- Shirtless Rafael Nadal packs on the PDA with his stunning bikini-clad girlfriend Xisca Perello as they soak up the sun on board a yacht in Mallorca (via Daily Mail)