Rafael Nadal defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1 6-1 to reach the Monte Carlo Masters third round. The world No. 2 was playing his first match since his Indian Wells semifinals withdrawal against Roger Federer due to a knee injury.
The Spaniard is not at 100 percent yet. "I'm happy for this very positive start", said Nadal. "I had good feelings on court, yeah. I can't pretend to don't have pain at all, because I never thought about that.
It's a long time ago that professional players play normally with pain, because that's part of the sport to the highest level and no limitations at all. So I was able to move well and be confident with the things that I did.
I can't tell you if I found my great rhythm. No, is not the case, no? I just started well. Is the first match in almost a year on this surface. But of course start like this helps." Asked what he feels when he steps on such a special court for him, Nadal added: "Every year is the same, no? When you come back to a place, the first thing that the history of this place is amazing.
All the great champions have been playing here. A lot of them winning. For me is just an honor to play this event. For me, personally, even if this tournament is very special for everybody, probably for me even a little bit more.
I always loved this event. Of course, after all the things that happened here, to me, every time that I have the chance to be back here is great feelings and just trying to enjoy every one."