US Open 2013: Rafael Nadal delighted to make winning return

The Spaniard is the second seed at Flushing Meadows

Rafael Nadal made up for lost time with a dominant start to his US Open campaign in New York.

The 2010 champion was playing his first match at Flushing Meadows for two years after missing last year's tournament during his seven-month break with knee problems.

Nadal took on America's Ryan Harrison in the first round and was never really troubled in a 6-4 6-2 6-2 victory.

The Spaniard said: "I missed a lot of places last year. Always when you miss a tournament like the US Open, it's not good news.

"So for me the chance to be back here playing is great. I enjoyed the week before when I was practising. The first match after two years on Arthur Ashe is a great feeling."

Hard courts have been Nadal's most troublesome surface, both results-wise and for his suspect knees, but he has been flawless this year, winning three Masters series titles.

He went into the US Open on a 10-match winning streak after back-to-back trophies in Montreal and Cincinnati, which included victories over Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Djokovic is a narrow title favourite but Nadal is considered by many the man to beat - and he will not be enlisting the help of any special diets.

Djokovic believes his switch to a gluten-free diet was crucial in his elevation to the best player in the world and he has recently published a book on the subject.

Andy Murray briefly tried the same diet but Nadal will not be following suit.

He said; "At the end of the day, all the small things can help if you don't go crazy. I always had the theory that the most important thing is to be happy, enjoy what are you doing, and be fresh mentally.

"If you have the gluten-free diet or have the perfect diet and it's a big sacrifice for you and that results in you not being happy the rest of the day, not being fresh mentally because that's a lot of effort for you, it's better not to do it.

"If you feel that's the right thing to do to be fit, do it. It's not a secret, and there's not only one way to be a good tennis player or to be fit. Everybody's different.

"Now it seems like the gluten-free diet is great. After three years or four years we will find another thing that will be great, too. Then the gluten-free will not work anymore.

"So all these kind of things that are news, personally I am not doing. I am happy with the normal diet."

The big upset of day one came early on when British qualifier Dan Evans knocked out 11th seed Kei Nishikori 6-4 6-4 6-2.

The 23-year-old next meets Australian Bernard Tomic, who was a break down in the fourth set against Albert Ramos before turning things around to win in five.

Eighth seed Richard Gasquet eased past American Michael Russell 6-3 6-4 6-2 but 30th seed Ernests Gulbis, who beat Murray in Montreal, and 27th seed Fernando Verdasco both lost five-setters.

PA

Voices
Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond delivers his speech at the Scottish National Party (SNP) Spring Conference in Aberdeen, Scotland April 12, 2014.
voices
Arts & Entertainment
artYouth club owner says mural is 'gift from the sky' so he can prevent closure of venue
News
Plans to decriminalise non-payment of television licence fees would cost the BBC £500m according to estimates drawn up within the Corporation
people
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Pare as Megan Draper and Jon Hamm as the troubled, melancholy Don Draper
tvAnd six other questions we hope Mad Men series seven will answer
VIDEO
Life & Style
The new low cost smartphone of Motorola, 'Motorola Moto G', is displayed in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 13, 2013. The smartphone, with dimensions 65.9mm W x 129.9mm H x 6.0 - 11.6mm D is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with quad-core 1,2 GHz CPU, a 4.5-inch display and Android Operating System 4.3 and a suggested price of $ 179 USD.
techData assessing smartphones has revealed tens of millions of phones are at risk of being harvested
Arts & Entertainment
Cody and Paul Walker pictured in 2003.
film
News
David Beckham is planning to build a stadium in Miami’s port for a new football team he will own
news... in his fight for a football stadium in Miami's port area
News
weird newsMan live-photographs cracking of mysterious locked box on Reddit
Sport
Oliver Giroud kisses the Arsenal badge after giving the Gunners the lead
sportArsenal 3 West Ham 1: Two goals from the German striker and one piece of brilliance from Giroud puts the Gunners back above Everton
News
weird news
Arts & Entertainment
Seeing red: James Dean with Sal Mineo in 'Rebel without a Cause'
filmAs 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star James Dean perfected his moody act
News
Obesity surgery in rats has been found to change the way the body processes alcohol
news
Arts & Entertainment
Heads up: Andy Scott's The Kelpies in Falkirk
artThe Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
Life & Style
US Airways has been at the centre of a Twitter storm after it responded to customer complaints with a graphic sexual image
techUS Airways takes an interesting approach to customer service
Arts & Entertainment
Philip Arditti as Yossarian and Christopher Price as Milo Minderbinder in Northern Stage's 'Catch-22'
theatre
Life & Style
Back to nature: women with body issues have found naked yoga sessions therapeutic
lifeDoing poses in the altogether is already big in the US, and now it’s landed here – in mixed classes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week
10 best activity books for children

10 best activity books for children

Keep little ones busy this bank holiday with one of these creative, educational and fun books
Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1: Five things we learnt from the battle between the London sides

Five things we learnt from Arsenal's win over West Ham

Arsenal still in driving seat for Champions League spot and Carroll can make late charge into England’s World Cup squad
Copa del Rey final: Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right

Pete Jenson on the Copa del Rey final

Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right
Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

With the tennis circus now rolling on to the slowest surface, Paul Newman highlights who'll be making the headlines – and why
Exclusive: NHS faces financial disaster in 2015 as politicians urged to find radical solution

NHS faces financial disaster in 2015

Politicians urged to find radical solution
Ukraine crisis: How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?

Ukraine crisis

How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

A history of the First World War in 100 moments
Fires could turn Amazon rainforest into a desert as human activity and climate change threaten ‘lungs of the world’, says study

New threat to the Amazon rainforest:

Fires that scorch the ‘lungs of the Earth’
Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City: And the winner of this season’s Premier League title will be...

Who’s in box seat now? The winner of the title will be ...

Who is in best shape to take the Premier League prize?