Rafael Nadal off to a perfect start after six-month hiatus

In his first match in over six months, Rafael Nadal swept aside fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta yesterday morning (Singapore time) to reach the third round of the Italian Open.The nine-time Rome winner came through 6-1, 6-1 against 18th-ranked Carreno Busta, a recent semi-finalist at the US Open.

Nadal has not played since winning in Acapulco at the end of February, opting to skip the US hard-court tour because of coronavirus concerns.

The 34-year-old, a 12-time French Open winner, will next play Serb Dusan Lajovic for a place in the quarter-finals of the tune-up for Roland Garros.

The French Open is scheduled for Sept 21-Oct 11. - AFP