Rotterdam, February 13:

Rafael Nadal defeated World No 490 Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 3-6, 6-2 on Thursday to reach the Rotterdam Open quarter-finals, but the Bulgarian teenager demonstrated his exciting potential as a future star.

World No 1 Nadal had plenty of problems with the 17-year-old junior Wimbledon and US Open winner who broke the newly-crowned Australian Open champion in the eighth game of the second set on his way to levelling the match.

But Nadal, who has struggled on the ultra-fast court here, quickly recovered his poise to reach the last eight although Dimitrov twice had chances in the final set to grab a break before running out of steam. Nadal will now face either French seventh seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Dmitry Tursunov of Russia for a semi-final spot.

Andy Murray overcame a raft of errors in a hit-or-miss opening set before posting a gruelling 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 win over Italy’s Andreas Seppi. Murray will next face French lucky loser Marc Gicquel, who defeated compatriot Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-3.

French fifth seed Gael Monfils, who put out compatriot and defending champion Michael Llodra 6-4, 6-4, will tackle fellow Frenchman Julien Benneteau who booked his last-eight place on Wednesday with an upset win against Russian third seed Nikloay Davydenko. Croatia’s Mario Ancic, a runner-up at Zagreb last weekend, beat French fourth seed Gilles Simon 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.