Rafael Nadal won his opening match at the Australian Open on Tuesday when Bernard Tomic was forced to retire with a leg injury after losing the opening set 6—4.
The win in 41 minutes marked Nadal’s return to Melbourne after missing 2013 as he recovered from knee problems.
The 27-year-old Spaniard was untroubled as he began his bid to win a second Australian title and wrap up two trophies each at all four majors.
Tomic, 21, a finalist at the weekend in Sydney, showed discomfort early on, pulling up in pain during his first service game. He was later taped and then treated off court for his injury.
But after losing the opening set, the Australian packed it in, with his condition for Davis Cup play in three weeks possibly suspect.
“I’m very sorry for him, I hope he gets better,” said Nadal, making his ninth appearance at the event and standing 36—7 with a title in 2009 over Roger Federer. “I know how tough it is to be in this position.
“I saw from the start that he was having some problems on the leg, but for a few games he served unbelievably. I just tried to wait for my moment.” The world number one is aiming for his 14th grand slam title and next plays Australian teenager Thanasi Kokkianakis, who beat Igor Sijsling 7—6 (7—4), 0—6, 7—6 (3), 6—2.