Millennium Post

Nadal books 3rd round berth with easy win

Rafael Nadal made a triumphant return to hard-court tennis, booking his third round berth at Indian Wells with a straight-sets victory over American Ryan Harrison. Seeded only fifth in a tournament he won in 2007 and 2009, Nadal was nevertheless squarely in the spotlight as he played his first hard-court match in 346 days.

After a few tense moments in the opening set, he came through with flying colours, beating 73rd-ranked American Harrison 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 in one hour and 33 minutes. Nadal was sidelined for seven months recovering from a left knee injury. He returned in February with three clay-court tournaments in Latin America.

The former world No. 1 got his comeback off to a blazing start on clay, with one runner-up finish and two titles.  But he said his knee still wasn’t 100 percent, and he wasn’t sure if he’d put it to the test on the punishing US hard courts. ‘I didn’t know if I was going to be able to come here two weeks ago. I’m very happy to be back here,’ Nadal said.
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