Rafael Nadal began his comeback Tuesday in Beijing at the China Open, notching a 6-4, 6-0 win over Richard Gasquet. Nadal, seeded second in Beijing, was playing in his first match in over three months after nursing a right wrist injury.
Nadal has enjoyed great success in Beijing, having won the ATP World Tour 500 title in 2005 and winning an Olympic Gold Medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
“Today was an important day for me, the day that I am back,” said Nadal. “To have the support of the people, this is important. It’s an important feeling to be back in competition. I'm very happy. More important than winning or losing is spending time on court. That's the key for me at the moment: Spending time on court, playing matches.”
Nadal moves on to round two where he will face Germany's Peter Gojowczyk.
Also a winner in Beijing Tuesday was Andy Murray, who overcame a slow start to defeat Jerzy Janowicz 6-7(9), 6-4, 6-2. On Sunday, Murray captured the Shenzhen Open, ending a 15-month title drought. Murray will next face Pablo Cuevas in the second round.
World number one Novak Djokovic also moved on at the China Open Tuesday, a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. With the win, Djokovic extended his winning streak to 20-0 in Beijing.
"I did not underestimate my opponent definitely from the start," said Djokovic. "I wanted to step into the court and dictate the play, dictate the rallies. I think I've done well. It was a bit of a sluggish start from both of us. We lost a lot of service games. Took a lot of time to get into the rhythm, used to the conditions. Generally it's fine. I cannot complain about the performance."
Also advancing Tuesday was Tomas Berdych, a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Feliciano Lopez. Berdych dropped just 10 points on serve and converted four of his 14 break points in the 63-minute match. Berdych started the week at eighth in the Emirates ATP Race to London, just 25 points behind seventh-placed David Ferrer, who lost in the first round in Tokyo on Monday. Berdych is bidding to qualify for the season finale for the fifth year in a row.
Eighth seed John Isner claimed his 36th win of the season as he defeated Santiago Giraldo 6-1, 6-3 in 61 minutes, as Isner fired 14 aces and saved the five break points he faced to dismiss Giraldo, who was coming off a semi-final showing in Shenzhen last week.