After failing to even reach the last four in his favourite Grand Slam French Open, Rafael Nadal will set his sights on the next grand slam on grass, Wimbledon. Nadal has started his preparations and is currently playing the Stuttgart Open.
Top seed Rafael Nadal defeated Marcos Baghdatis to set up a quarter finals date with the fifth seed, Bernard Tomic. But Nadal did not have an easy outing against Baghdatis, who stretched him to three sets with the score reading a close 7-6(5), 6-7(4) and 6-2.
The first two sets were mighty close, but Nadal showed his class in the third set of the match and knocked Baghdatis out of the competition.
Nadal also conceded that he played better as the game progressed.
"It was a little bit of a strange match," ATP official website quoted Nadal as saying. "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 is not new to Stuggart Open, as he has won the competition twice -- 2005 and 2007. Nadal will be looking for his third title this time around, but he has to defeat in-form Tomic to increase his chances of winning the title.
Tomic was also equally impressive in his last match against Tommy Haas, where he put up an amazing performance to defeat Haas in straight sets, 7-6 and 6-2.
Though Haas was making a comeback into the ATP circuit after an injury, he was not making life any easier for Tomic, who feels that his pass in the first set during the tie break was the turning point. It might be true as well, as Tomic outplayed Haas in the second set.
"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."
But Tomic might have to step up his game against Nadal, who must be determined to do well in the competition and head into the grass courts of Wimbledon with full confidence.
Where to Watch Live
Rafael Nadal vs Bernard Tomic quarterfinals clash is scheduled for 1:55 local time (5:25 IST, 7:55am ET, 12:55pm BST) start.
US viewers can watch it on Tennis Channel. Audience in Germany can watch it on Euro Sports 2.
International viewers can stream it live on ATP Official Website.