Rafael Nadal beats Richard Gasquet in China on injury return

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal injured his right wrist while practising in Mallorca in late July

World number two Rafael Nadal made a winning return from injury by beating Frenchman Richard Gasquet 6-4 6-0 in the first round of the China Open.

Nadal, 28, was playing his first match since recovering from the wrist injury that has sidelined him since Wimbledon.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion was joined in the next round by Novak Djokovic, who beat Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-2 6-1.

The world number one is aiming for a record fifth China Open title.

Djokovic, 27, is unbeaten in the tournament, having won all his previous 19 matches since his 2009 debut. He missed the 2011 edition through injury.

"Most of the players do feel a little bit exhausted," said the Serb.

"But I'm fighting for number one of the world. Of course, every tournament is important. This is already a huge motivation."

Nadal on the road to recovery
Nadal injured his right wrist while practising in Majorca in late July and was forced to miss the US Open. Prior to his first-round win at the China Open, the Spaniard's last competitive match was a fourth-round defeat by Australian Nick Kyrgios at Wimbledon in July.

Djokovic will play Vasek Pospisil in the second round in Beijing after the Canadian beat Lukas Rosol 6-4 6-3 on Monday, while sixth seed Andy Murray saw off Poland's Jerzy Janowicz

Nadal, who goes on to face German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk, was satisfied with the way his wrist responded to competition.

"It's not 100%, but let's say 90%," said the Spaniard.

"I have to be happy the way that I played. Three months without a match, winning against a good player like Richard, is a very positive comeback for me."

Third seed Tomas Berdych also made progress as he defeated Feliciano Lopez 6-1 6-2, dropping just 10 points on serve.

Serena Williams
Serena Williams enjoyed a more straightforward passage into round two after a tough opening match

British number one Andy Murray, who is seeded sixth and won the Shenzhen Open title on Sunday, is in action against Poland's Jerzy Janowicz on the Lotus Court.

In the women's competition, top seed and world number one Serena Williams beat Bulgarian qualifier Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2 6-3 in the second round.

"I wanted to start out strong, so that was the main difference," said the American, who had to recover from 5-0 down in her opening match on Monday.

"It was just making sure I was able to win a game early on."

Second seed Simona Halep beat Lin Zhu 7-5 6-4 in round two, while fourth seed Maria Sharapova defeated Elina Svitolina 6-2 6-2.

Italy's Roberta Vinci caused an upset with a 6-4 6-4 win over fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, while Germany's Sabine Lisicki beat eighth seed Eugenie Bouchard 6-2 6-4.

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