• Nadal opens in Halle with win over Lacko

    6/15/12 1:44 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Nadal opens in Halle with win over Lacko Rafael Nadal moves over to grass and takes care of Lukas Lacko in straight sets on Thursday in Halle. Nadal is through to a quarterfinal meeting with defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber.

    Three days after winning the French Open, Rafael Nadal won his grass-court opener with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Lukas Lacko during second-round action at the Gerry Weber Open on Thursday afternoon. Nadal struck two aces without double-faulting as he advanced in one hour and 15 minutes.

    The second-ranked Spaniard struggled to take control in the early going. He broke for a 3-1 lead in the first set but gave it right back in the following game. Nadal held easily from there and won a marathon game at 6-5 to seize the opening frame of play.

    Lacko had three game points to force a tiebreaker only to drop serve after six deuces, and he could not recover in the second. The 58th-ranked Slovak lost five more games in succession before finally getting on the scoreboard with a hold for 1-5. Nadal promptly closed out the match at love to book his spot in the quarterfinals.

    "In the second set, I played with fewer mistakes, which is the most important thing," Nadal explained. "I'm happy. Every match here is very dangerous after playing on clay for two and a half months. Tomorrow will be another tough match."

    Next up for the No. 1 seed is defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber, who battled past Lukasz Kubot 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-3. The winner will advance to a semifinal showdown with either Tomas Berdych or Tommy Haas.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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