(Reuters) 21-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal began his Mutua Madrid Open campaign with a 6-1, 7-6(4) victory over Miomir Kecmanovic in one hour and 55 minutes on Manolo Santana Stadium on Wednesday.
Rafa, competing in his first match since March following a rib injury, quickly found his rhythm in a strong start against Serbian Kecmanovic.
Rain suspended play early in the second set and 21-times Grand Slam champion Nadal lost momentum.
Rafa, hitting with explosive power, recovered from failing to serve out the match at 6-5 in the second set to seal victory in just under two hours.
Our champ, who improved his win-loss record to 21-1 for the season, is aiming to win his sixth title on home soil in Madrid having last won the tournament in 2017, and will next play qualifier David Goffin.