Nadal happy with start in Monte Carlo
Rafael Nadal has eased his way into the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters after beating Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1 6-1.
The 17-time Grand Slam winner, who is seeking a record-extending 12th title in Monte Carlo this week, needed just 77 minutes to see off his fellow Spaniard and will now take on Grigor Dimitrov for a place in the quarter-finals on Thursday.
Nadal has had an injury-hit start to 2019 as abdominal, ankle, knee and finger problems have limited his time on court, and although he acknowledges he is not yet pain-free, he was pleased with his overall performance against Bautista Agut.
"This is just the first match and it has been a very positive start," Nadal said. "The results say that. And the feeling on court, too.
"I just started well. It is the first match in almost a year on this surface. I can't pretend that I don't have pain at all because I never thought about that."
The world number two will be hopeful of continuing his progress against Dimitrov as he beat the Bulgarian in the semi-finals of the competition 12 months ago, but he is taking nothing for granted this time around.
"Tomorrow is another good test against Grigor, so let's see," the 32-year-old added.
Tom McGarry completed his sports journalist degree in 2011,and has since has become an integral part of the editorial and audio team. He is passionate about all things sport, particularly football, and is a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Carlisle United.