Nadal content with seamless return after struggling with hand issue

Rafael Nadal was thrilled to come through his return to the ATP Tour unscathed, having struggled with a hand issue ahead of his match with Mischa Zverev.

The Spaniard played for the first time since his humbling Australian Open final defeat to Novak Djokovic on Tuesday, winning his opener at the Mexican Open 6-3 6-3.

Nadal was always in control against Zverev, but he revealed that his preparation for the Acapulco tournament had been disrupted by an injury concern, making a routine victory all the sweeter.

"I am happy for the victory, of course, it has been a good start for me," he said. "It's never easy against Mischa, especially after a while without competing.

"I had some problems with the hand the last couple of days, without practicing much, so it's an important victory for me."

Nadal will face Nick Kyrgios next and added: "It will be a tough one. I know Nick is one of the most talented players on the Tour.

"It will be a big challenge for me and I hope to be ready for it."

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