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

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
people
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment