Rafael Nadal beats Marcos Baghdatis in Stuttgart

Rafael Nadal
Nadal spent 124 weeks as world number one in three separate spells from August 2008

Rafael Nadal overcame a stubborn Marcos Baghdatis in Stuttgart as he attempts to get his season back on track.

The 29-year-old Spaniard, down to 10th in the world rankings, beat the Cypriot 7-6 (7-5) 6-7 (4-7) 6-2 on grass to reach the Mercedes Cup quarter-finals.

Nadal, who lost to Novak Djokovic in the French Open quarter-finals last week, took charge in the third set.

The 14-time Grand Slam winner will face Australian fifth seed Bernard Tomic, who saw off Tommy Haas 7-6 (8-6) 6-2.

Tomic was taken to a tie-break in the first set of his second round match by 37-year-old Haas, returning after a year out following shoulder surgery, before he progressed.

Nadal, who had a bye into the second round, said: "The first match on grass is always tough. He's a very good player and he'd already played a match.

"I need to be more aggressive, to return better, and to move better.

Nadal, at his lowest ranking since he was 11th as a teenager 10 years ago, faced solid resistance from 2006 Australian Open runner-up Baghdatis and dipped to a 59% first serve in the second set.

But the top seed powered clear after breaking in the fourth game of the decider to win in two hours and 40 minutes.

Marcos Baghdatis
Baghdatis tested Nadal until the Spaniard took control in the third set

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