Nadal struggles but qualifies for Stuttgart semifinals

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Stuttgart:  Top seed Rafael Nadal and Gael Monfils both struggled on their least-favorite surface Friday before setting up a semi-final at the first edition of the Stuttgart Open to be played on grass.

The former July clay-court tournament is now part of the three-week run-up to Wimbledon after being approached three years ago to consider making the change of surface and date.

Nadal needed almost two and a half hours to defeat fifth seed Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-7 (6/8), 6-3, beating the Australian for the third time as they played on grass for the first time.

 

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