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Nadal sluggish but advances in Hamburg

Spain's Rafael Nadal returns a shot during a training session at the ATP tennis tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Monday July 27, 2015. (Bodo Marks/dpa via AP)

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) Top-seeded Rafael Nadal overcame a sluggish start to beat Fernando Verdasco 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 in the first round of the Hamburg Open on Tuesday.

Nadal was playing his first match since losing to Dustin Brown in the second round of Wimbledon. The former No. 1 in the world has fallen to No. 10.

In the all-Spanish match, Nadal appeared to have trouble adjusting to clay and finding his timing. But his game picked up noticeably in the last two sets. Verdasco saved one match point but then hit the net with a backhand to hand Nadal the win. Nadal's last match on clay was the quarterfinal loss to Novak Djokovic at the French Open.

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2015 ATP Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 N. Djokovic 13,845
2 R. Federer 9,665
3 A. Murray 7,840
4 S. Wawrinka 5,790
5 K. Nishikori 5,525
6 T. Berdych 5,140
7 D. Ferrer 4,325
8 M. Raonic 3,810
9 M. Cilic 3,495
10 R. Nadal 3,000
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2015 WTA Rankings
Rank Player Points
1 S. Williams 13,191
2 M. Sharapova 6,490
3 S. Halep 5,151
4 P. Kvitova 5,000
5 C. Wozniacki 4,910
6 A. Ivanovic 3,835
7 A. Radwanska 3,560
8 L. Safarova 3,515
9 G. Muguruza 3,365
10 C. Suarez Navarro 3,285
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