Beijing: Second seed Rafael Nadal breezed past Italy's Paulo Lorenzi in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 in their first-round meeting at the China Open.
The match included several remarkable moments, with Nadal returning seemingly impossible serves on more than one occasion in both the first and second sets, much to the delight of the extremely enthusiastic crowd at the National Tennis center's Diamond Court.
After the match, Nadal said that save for one game in the first set, he is pleased with his performance, reports Xinhua.
"Today I think I played a very solid match, playing very aggressive with my forehand. I only played one not very good game. That was in 3-1 of the first set. But for the rest I played a very good match. I very happy," he said.
Nadal stuck closer to the baseline during the match, and he said this is a conscious effort on his part to play offensively.
"Since last year in Montreal I am trying to play closer to the baseline and trying to return closer to the baseline, trying to play a little bit more aggressive. I think I did well this year," Nadal pointed out.
He also said he is coming back well from his recent injuries.
"When you get injury for two months and a half at the half season, in the middle of the season, is tough, is difficult. But even like this, I came back well."
Nadal, coming off a victory in the first round of the men's doubles here on Monday with his Spanish compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta, believes that the match was a good start for him here.
"I think we played a good doubles match yesterday. I was practicing good during the last couple of days. Having a doubles match before the singles starts is a positive thing. That's why I asked to play before," he remarked.
Nadal said he could feel the enthusiasm of the crowd and appreciates the support.
"It's always special to play in this part of the world. The fans are great, very enthusiastic. You feel the passion. (There has) always been huge support from them here in China. (It is) great to be far from your home and see a lot of Spanish flags out there," he said.
Nadal goes on to meet the winner of the first round match between his Spanish compatriot Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Adrian Mannarino of France in the second round.