Rafael Nadal hails ‘perfect start’ to his restarted season after cruising to win in Rome Masters

Rafael Nadal at US Open practice

Rafael Nadal says he made a perfect’ start to the resumption of his season with his comprehensive 6-1, 6-1 win over Pablo Carreno Busta in Rome.

Nadal played competitive tennis for the first time since February this week, and was given a tricky opening match against the US Open semi-finalist.

However, he didn’t show any signs at all of rust and looked every bit his usual dominant self on clay.

“It’s good to be back on the Tour,” Nadal told the ATP after his match.

“I miss the crowds. I played a good match, maybe he was a little bit tired after all his matches in New York.

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“It was a perfect start for me. It was solid, [and I hit] good shots on the forehand and backhand. I didn’t expect to play that well.”

Nadal decided to skip the US Open over safety concerns, and remained in Europe to prepare for his favoured clay season instead.

It is a delayed and reduced season this year, though, with Rome the only big tournament before the French Open starts on September 27.

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