Fit-again Berdych and Darcis make winning returns

Tomas Berdych made a winning a return against Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Qatar Open following a long absence and there was also a victory for Steve Darcis on his comeback in Pune on Monday.

Berdych had not played a competitive match since June due to a back injury, but the former world number four ended a forgettable 2018 with a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) success over Kohlschreiber on New Year's Eve.

The 33-year-old Czech, who will start the 2019 down in 71st in the rankings, broke twice to take the opener after losing the first two games and won the second-set tie-break to reach round two in Doha.

Berdych will now take on Fernando Verdasco after the Spaniard got past Paolo Lorenzi 6-3 6-4.

Roberto Bautista Agut, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Nicolas Jarry also made it through along with Andrey Rublev and Maximilian Marterer.

Darcis missed the whole of last season with an elbow injury, but set about trying to make up for lost time with a 6-3 6-4 win over sixth seed Roberto Carballes Baena at the Maharashtra Open.

The 34-year-old Belgian said: "It feels good [to win], of course. When you don't play for 400 days it is long and to come here and have the first win of the year, I feel great."

Seventh seed Jaume Munar overcame Radu Albot 6-2 7-6 (7-4) to join Ernests Gulbis, Evgeny Donskoy and Michael Mmoh in the last 16.

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