London, England (Sports Network) - French Open champion Rafael Nadal, British star Andy Murray and four-time Queen's Club champ Andy Roddick were third-round winners Thursday at the $1 million Aegon Championships tennis event, a grass-court Wimbledon tuneup.
The world No. 1 Nadal needed all three sets to get past dangerous Czech veteran Radek Stepanek 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 in 2 hours, 24 minutes. Nadal piled up six service breaks in the Day-4 victory, one in which he blew a 5-3 lead in the second set.
Nadal, who beat the 2009 Queen's Club titlist Murray in last week's semifinals at Roland Garros, bested Roger Federer in this past Sunday's big finale in Paris.
Up next for the reigning French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion Nadal will be fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who was leading 10th-seeded fellow Frenchman Michael Llodra 4-3 in the first set when the lefthanded Llodra retired.
The second-seeded Australian Open runner-up Murray got past 14th-seeded Serb Janko Tipsarevic 6-4, 7-6 (7-3). Murray will encounter eighth-seeded Croat Marin Cilic in Friday's quarters. Cilic edged out 11th-seeded Brazilian lefthander Thomaz Bellucci 7-6 (7-3), 0-6, 6-3.
A third-seeded Roddick routed 15th-seeded South African Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-4. Anderson swatted 13 aces in defeat, compared to eight for the victorious American slugger.
The former U.S. Open champion Roddick captured this traditional London event from 2003-05 and again in 2007.
Up next for Roddick will be seventh-seeded Spanish lefty Fernando Verdasco, who drove out ninth-seeded Argentine David Nalbandian 7-5, 6-1. The oft- injured Nalbandian is a former Wimbledon finalist.
A big third-round upset came when unheralded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino upended 12th-seeded former world No. 4 and former U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (9-7). Earlier Thursday. Mannarino had to complete a second-round match with fifth-seeded Gilles Simon, who succumbed to his fellow Frenchman 6-7 (4-7), 6-4, 3-0, as Simon retired after three games on Day 4. The two players split the first two sets here on Wednesday before play was suspended because of darkness.
A match between 13th-seeded and defending Queen's Club champion Sam Querrey and James Ward was suspended due to insufficient light on Thursday, with the American taking the first set, 6-3, and the British wild card the second, 6-3. Friday's Querrey-Ward victor will meet Mannarino later on Day 5.
Querrey beat Mardy Fish in last year's all-American finale here.
This week's champion will take home $113,000.
06/09 16:26:23 ET