Nadal sweeps into third round on Rome return
Rafael Nadal swept aside fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta in his first match in over six months to reach the third round of the Italian Open on Wednesday.
The nine-time Rome winner came through 6-1, 6-1 against 18th-ranked Carreno Busta, a recent semi-finalist at the US Open.
The world number two has not played since winning in Acapulco at the end of February, opting to skip the US hard court tour amid coronavirus concerns.
The 34-year-old will next play either Canadian Milos Raonic or Serb Dusan Lajovic for a place in the quarter-finals.
Nadal, a 12-time French Open winner, is the second seed behind world number one Novak Djokovic in the tune-up for the final Grand Slam of the season at Roland Garros on September 27.
Both Nadal and Djokovic are tied with 35 ATP Masters 1000 titles before this week's tournament which is being played behind closed doors on clay at the Foro Italico.
© 2020 AFP