Rafa Nadal announced his return to the courts after recovering from injury with a resounding 6-0, 6-4 victory over world number 10 Tomas Berdych at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Thursday.
The Spaniard, who has dropped to nine in the rankings after spending the final two months of the 2016 season recovering from a wrist injury that forced him to withdraw from the French Open and dogged him throughout the rest of the year.
Nadal: "I'm motivated"
“I feel healthy, with is the main thing, and I’ve got the motivation,” Nadal said after his quarterfinal match against the big-serving Czech. The Spaniard broke three times in the opening set showing that the injury, which had prevented him from getting stuck fully into opponents’ serves in the second half of last season, is no longer troubling him.
Berdych put up more resistance in the second set but Nadal managed to break in the ninth game and then sealed the match with an ace.
Nadal will face another test of his resilience in Friday’s semifinals, with world number three Milos Raonic his opponent.