Second seeded Rafael Nadal romped to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Roberto Bautista Agut to open his campaign at the 2019 Monte-Carlo Masters.
Nadal needed just 76 minutes to get the better of his countryman Bautista Agut to breeze into the third round but more importantly, he showed no signs of any of his injury issues that have caused him havoc in recent times. Nothing in particular around his knee that had caused him to withdraw from the Indian Wells Masters semi-final against arch-rival Roger Federer.
Having already won the Monte-Carlo Masters 11 times before this, Nadal was a heavy favourite to win it one more time but the worry obviously was his knee and whether it would hold up the early grind. As it turned out, he was on court for very little time with Bautista Agut proving no match for him.
Nadal went 5-0 ahead in the first set, needing just 17 minutes and while his opponent showed some signs of fight after that, it was never going to be enough against the world number two.
He did face three break-points in the fourth game of the second set while Bautista Agut had another one in the sixth but Nadal was having none of it and completed his facile win.
Speaking at the post-match interview, Nadal said about the win:
“It was a great start, it’s good to be back here. I’ve had some great moments on this court, I really enjoy playing here.”
“It’s not easy to come back from injury, I had to do a lot of mental work as well to be prepared. I tried to play solid, dominate with my forehand when I had the chance.”
Nadal will now take on Grigor Dimitrov in the third round of the tournament after the Bulgarian defeated Jan-Lennard Struff in his second round match.
Third seed Alexander Zverev also got off to a strong start, defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-1, 6-4 in his second round match and later credited the win to feeling healthy for the first time in some time. He faces Fabio Fognini in the third round after he moved ahead following the withdrawal of Gilles Simon.