US Open: Nadal passes first round test

Rafael Nadal continued his hard-court roll with a straightforward victory over Ryan Harrison in the first round of the US Open.

The Spaniard, who missed the tournament last year during his seven-month break with knee problems, came through 6-4 6-2 6-2 in two hours and six minutes.

Nadal is unbeaten on his least favourite surface this season having won three Masters series titles, including back to back in Montreal and Cincinnati this month.

Those results lifted Nadal above Andy Murray and back to world number two, and he is on the other side of the draw to both the defending champion and world number one Novak Djokovic.

He made the perfect start with a break of the Harrison serve, and then held off the young American for the rest of the first set.

Nadal's dominance gradually grew and a short rain delay in the second set did nothing to disrupt his rhythm as he eased to victory.

The big upset of the day 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 Gulibs, who beat Murray in Montreal, crashed out to Austria's Andreas Haider-Maurer in five sets.

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