World No. 3 Rafael Nadal impressed on his return from a right wrist injury by beating France’s Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-0 in the first round of the China Open.
The Spaniard, 28, has spent about 13 weeks on the sidelines since his fourth-round defeat by Australian Nick Kyrgios at this year’s Wimbledon. He sustained the injury while practising in Mallorca and was forced to pull out of the US Open.
The second seed dropped just four games as he sailed past Gasquet. The left-hander reiterated that his wrist is close to 100 per cent after the game.
“In general I have to be happy the way that I played,” said Nadal. “After three months without a match, winning against a good player like Richard is a very positive comeback for me.
“I think I played solid, non mistakes. I’m happy the way I played.”
World number one Novak Djokovic also progressed to the second round with a 6-2 6-1 win over Spain’s Guillermo Garcia Lopez.
The 27-year-old Serb will play Vasek Pospisil in the next round in Beijing after the Canadaian beat Lukas Rosol 6-4 6-3 on Monday.
Djokovic is aiming for his 5th title in China and is unbeaten in the tournament, with a 19-game winning streak that stretches back to his debut in 2009.
Third seed Tomas Berdych defeated Feliciano Lopez 6-1 6-2.
British number one Andy Murray will face Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz on the Lotus Court.
In the women’s competition, top seed and world number one Serena Williams takes on qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova in the second round.
Second seed Simona Halep beat Lin Zhu 7-5 6-4 in their second-round. Maria Sharapova beat Elina Svitolina 6-2 6-2.