Hamburg - Top seed Rafael Nadal bidding to rediscover some semblance of his former all-conquering form recovered from losing the first set to beat fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 and reach the second round of Hamburg's ATP tournament on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old former world number one, who has slipped to 10 in the rankings after a run of poor results, struggled in the first set but recovered to take the second before earning a critical break in the decider for a 2-1 lead.
He saved all four break points he faced in the final set to eventually clinch victory and set up a second-round clash with the winner of the Jiri Vesely and Andreas Haider-Maurer match.
Nadal, who has had a tortuous year in which he lost his French Open title and went out in the second round of Wimbledon, is making his first appearance in Hamburg since winning the tournament in 2008 when he beat long-time rival Roger Federer.
Results from the second day of the Hamburg ATP claycourt tournament on Tuesday (x denotes seeding):
Benot Paire (FRA) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) bt Fernando Verdasco (ESP) 3-6, 6-1, 6-1
Andreas Seppi (ITA x4) bt Martin Klizan (SVK) 6-2, 6-4
Aljaz Bedene (GBR) bt Daniel Gimeno (ESP) 6-4, 6-1
Roberto Bautista (ESP x3) bt Borna Coric (CRO) 6-3, 6-4
Jaume Munar (ESP) bt Guillermo Garca-Lopez (ESP x7) 1-2 - retired
Juan Monaco (ARG x6) bt Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3