Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal announced is return to the ATP World Tour with a dominant showing in his opening round match to set up a second round encounter with Peter Gojowczyk. Following their first meeting in Doha earlier this year, where the Spaniard was forced to rally from a set down to beat his German adversary in three, it will be interesting to see if they can reproduce the encounter this time around.
Returning to action his fist singles match since a fourth round exit at the Wimbledon Championships, Rafael Nadal awed the adoring crowd in Beijing with an emphatic performance against France’s Richard Gasquet. The Spaniard won 74% of his first service points, converted 4 of 7 break point opportunities, and stormed through the second set without allowing Gasquet on the scoreboard to finish off the encounter 6-4, 6-0 in 1 hour and 13 minutes.
“In general I have to be happy the way that I played,” said Nadal, who re-iterated that his wrist is close to 100 per cent. “After three months without a match, winning against a good player like Richard is a very positive comeback for me. I think I played solid, no mistakes. I’m happy the way I played.”
While his first obstacle was a breeze, Nadal is faced with a draw that includes potential match-up against Ernests Gulbis, Tomas Berdych and a final against either Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray or Marin Cilic.
“The draws are very hard,” continued the left-hander. “[There are] very difficult players. Every single round is so tough. Every victory is very important for me. It’s very positive. At the moment I don’t aspire to win tournaments here in Asia. I go day by day. I am trying my best in every practice session, in every match, and let’s see how far I can go.”
Nadal’s next opponent is qualifier Peter Gojowczyk, who withstood 17 aces from towering Croat Ivo Karlovic to win the match in three sets, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.
Prediction: Rafael Nadal in Straight Sets