Rafael Nadal scored one of his better wins of late defeating Grigor Dimitrov in the second round at Basel today. The beleaguered former No. 1 had to really work for it, though.
Nadal found himself down a break in both the first and third sets. But he came back to take both to win both to win the match 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. And even in the last game Nadal struggled to serve out the match.
Nadal is now 7-0 against the Bulgarian. Since the US Open, Nadal is 10-2 with losses to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Shanghai quarterfinals and Novak Djokovic in the Beijing final. He’ll await the Cilic-Gabishvili winner on Friday in the quarterfinals.
Dimitrov falls to 10-39 against Top 10 players. Ranked 28th, he’s also on the edge of falling out of the Top 30 with just one more event on the calendar. Dimitrov finished 2014 at No. 11.
Earlier, a trio of big men advance led by Ivo Karlovic who handed Swiss star Stan Wawrinka his fifth straight loss at his native event, beating the French Open champion 3-6, 7-6(2), 6-4 behind 21 aces.
Marin Cilic and Kevin Anderson were also winners along with David Goffin and Jack Sock.
Tomorrow, 6-time champion Roger Federer is in action against Philipp Kohlschreiber. Federer has never lost to his good friend in 10 meetings including a straight set win last month at the US Open.
John Iser meets Sock and also Richard Gasquet tries to keep his London hopes alive against Dominic Thiem.
Gasquet’s chances improved when David Ferrer withdrew from Valencia today with an elbow injury.
THURSDAY BASEL SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
 M. Cilic (CRO) vs T. Gabashvili (RUS)
Not Before 4:00 pm
J. Sock (USA) vs  J. Isner (USA)
Not Before 6:00 pm
 R. Gasquet (FRA) vs D. Thiem (AUT)
Not Before 8:00 pm
 R. Federer (SUI) vs P. Kohlschreiber (GER)
 J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) vs D. Nestor (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
COURT 2 start 2:00 pm
 K. Anderson (RSA) vs D. Young (USA)
[Q] D. Lajovic (SRB) vs I. Karlovic (CRO)
M. Lopez (ESP) / R. Nadal (ESP) vs  J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU)
D. Inglot (GBR) / R. Lindstedt (SWE) vs J. Cabal (COL) / R. Farah (COL)
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