Nadal enjoys winning start in China Open

Spaniard wins first singles match in comeback from injury; World number one Djokovic also through to second round.

    Nadal had lost his opening doubles game yesterday [REUTERS]
    Nadal had lost his opening doubles game yesterday [REUTERS]

    Rafa Nadal enjoyed an emphatic return to singles action as he powered past Richard Gasquet at the China Open, while world number one Novak Djokovic overcame a sluggish start to continue his perfect run in Beijing.

    Spanish world number two Nadal, playing his first singles match in three months following a wrist injury, extended his record to 13-0 against the Frenchman with a brisk 6-4, 6-0 win after Djokovic had beaten Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2, 6-1.

    Nadal will face German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk in the second round after the world number 122 defeated big serving Ivo Karlovic 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.

    Djokovic had less time away than Nadal but showed more rust in his first appearance on the ATP Tour since losing to Kei Nishikori in the semi-finals of the US Open earlier this month.

    Third seed Berdych also dropped just three games in a first round win as the Czech downed tall Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 6-1, 6-2.

    Berdych won the ATP 500 event in 2011, when Djokovic didn't enter, and needs a similarly strong week to book a spot at the season ending ATP World Tour finals in London.

    The Czech currently holds the eighth and final qualifying position for the prestigious November tournament, but many of his challengers for a berth are competing in Beijing or Tokyo this week.

    One of those is Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, who faced a tough encounter with Spain's Fernando Versaco in Monday's night session before prevailing 6-1 3-6 6-3.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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