Spain’s Rafael Nadal had a winning return to hard-court tournament action by beating Ryan Harrison of the U.S. last night in the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California.
Nadal downed Harrison, No. 73 in the ATP tennis rankings, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 to reach the third round.
The 11-time Grand Slam champion, now ranked No. 5, returned recently after a seven-month layoff with a knee injury.
Since coming back he’s finished second in an event in Vina del Mar, Chile, and won the Brazil Open in Sao Paulo before clinching the Mexican Open in Acapulco. All those were on clay, his favored surface.
Last week Nadal lost to Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in a hard-court exhibition match in New York.