Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a return to Mikail Youzhny of Russia during their men's singles match at the Rome Masters.Reuters

The ageless Tommy Haas defeated third-seed Stanislas Wawrinka 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 in the third round of the Rome Masters, to book a quarterfinal clash with Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday.

Reigning Australian Open champion Wawrinka won the first set comfortably but the German veteran swept the second set by breaking the Swiss' serve twice, to force a third set.

Haas broke Wawrinka's serve in the eight game of the decider to take a 5-3 lead and served out the match to advance to the quarters. Wawrinka was troubled by the heavy topspin throughout the match and committed 40 unforced errors.

This is the first time since beating Novak Djokovic in the Miami Masters a year ago that the 36-year-old Haas has beaten a top-10 player.

"These things don't happen too often anymore so I still take them and I'm really proud of them," the German said.

In another third round match, defending champion Rafael Nadal defeated Mikhail Youzhny after dropping the first set 6-7 (7-4) 6-2 6-1 at the Foro Italico.

Youzhny saved as many as four break points in the opening set to take the game into the tiebreaker, in which the Russian managed to edge the King of Clay to take the lead in the match.

Nadal was not kept on the bay for too long as the top-seed levelled the match by winning the second set. The Spaniard dominated the decider and built a 5-0 lead and served it out to wrap up the match in two hours and 44 minutes.

"I played with passion and motivation even if the feeling was not perfect," said Nadal. "That's always very good news, because when you have a lot of opportunities during the match, you keep fighting, trying to find solutions. That always means that you really want to win."

Meanwhile, Andy Murray displayed a much better performance compared to Nadal in his third round encounter to beat Austrian Jurgen Melzer 7-6 (7-1), 6-4.

The 27-year-old Brit saved 10 breakpoints in a straight set victory over Melzer. After facing an early break, Murray rallied back to clinch the opening set in the tiebreaker.

Murray broke Melzer's serve early into the second set but surrendered the lead midway into the set. The Brit again broke the Austrian's serve to take the game in one hour and 42 minutes. He maintained his 100 per cent winning record in six meetings against the Austrian.

"To be honest it's not a bad thing for me to play Nadal because I haven't played him for a long time," said Murray. "With the French Open and Wimbledon coming I would be quite interested to play him to see how his game changed and all the things I can do to make it difficult for him."

Watch the highlights of Tommy Haas v Stanislas Wawrinka match HERE.

Watch the highlights of Rafael Nadal v Mikhail Youzhny match HERE or HERE.

Watch the highlights of Andy Murray v Jurgen Melzer match HERE or HERE.