French Open champion Rafael Nadal beat Lukas Lacko 7-5, 6-1 to reach the quarter finals of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle on Thursday.
“At the beginning, it was more difficult to return. I tried to put more balls inside, trying to return with a bit of slice. That put me into a bit more of a rhythm,” commented Nadal. “In the second set, I played with [fewer] mistakes, which is the most important thing. 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.”
It was the Spaniard's first match on the grass this season.
“I'm very happy to be in Halle after a long time without coming here. For me, it's always special to be back in a place where I haven't been in quite for a while.”
He will meet defending champion Philipp Kohlschreiber for a place in the semi finals. The German beat Poland's Lukasz Kubot 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-3.
“I could have won the first set but he took his chances. I also think that he didn’t play on the same level in the second and third set,” Kohlschreiber told the press after his win. “He gave me an early break in the second which encouraged me. I always had the feeling that I was a hint better than he was. But that’s just a feeling. Sometimes you lose the first set and still think you are the better player. Fortunately, the feeling I had turned out to be true. As I said, I think he didn’t keep up his level.”