Rafa Nadal returned from an injury layoff to beat Miomir Kecmanovic 6-1, 7-6(4) on Wednesday and reach the last 16 in the Madrid Open claycourt tournament.
Nadal, competing in his first match since March following a rib injury, quickly found his rhythm in a strong start against Serbian Kecmanovic.
Rain suspended play early in the second set and the 21-times Grand Slam champion lost his momentum.
The 35-year-old Spaniard, hitting with explosive power, recovered from failing to serve out the match at 6-5 in the second set to seal victory in just under two hours.
“Every comeback is different,” Nadal told reporters. “We had to put all circumstances together to analyse every single comeback, and today has been a very important match for me, playing at home on clay against a player that has been playing well for the past couple of months”.