By Victor Kanayo
Tennis star Rafael Nadal launched latest comeback with a sweeping 7-5 6-1 win over Austria’s Dominic Thiem at the ongoing Brisbane International on Tuesday.
It was the first singles appearance for Nadal who suffered a protracted hip injury in one year.
Before facing Thiem, Nadal, 37, featured in a doubles defeat alongside Marc Lopez to Australians Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson on Sunday.
Nadal will face the winner of Australia’s Jason Kubler against Russia’s Aslan Karatsev in the next round.
In the Women’s category, Emma Raducanu was made to work hard on her long-awaited return to tennis, but eventually saw off the challenge of qualifier Elena-Gabriela Ruse in the first round of the ASB Classic in Auckland.
It was the first match the Brit has played since undergoing wrist and ankle surgeries in May of last year and she set up an enticing second round clash against Elina Svitolina with a 6-3 4-6 7-5 win over Ruse.
Earlier, US Open champion and no. 1 seed Coco Gauff wasted little time in booking her passage into round two.
The American was too good for Claire Liu and needed just an hour and 23 minutes to complete a 6-4 6-2 victory.