MADRID: Rafael Nadal's return from injury began with a straight-set victory over Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic in the second round of the Madrid Open.
The Spanish Tennis star won 6-1 7-6 (7-4) in his first encounter after suffering a rib ailment in March.
After sustaining a stress fracture of the rib at Indian Wells at the end of March, five-time winner Nadal did not expect to compete in Madrid.
However, the 21-time Grand Slam winner declared his participation last week and appeared in terrific form against world number 32 Kecmanovic.
Nadal breezed through the first set without facing a breakpoint, then broke for a 3-2 lead in the second set when play was halted due to rain.
Kecmanovic, who has had a career-best start to the season with 23 victories, broke back for 3-3 and repeated the feat when Nadal took his serve for a 6-5 lead.
Nadal controlled the tie-break to earn a last-16 match against either Belgium's David Goffin or the Netherlands' Botic van de Zandschulp.