BASEL, Switzerland (AFP) – An ongoing appendix problem didn’t affect Spanish former world number one Rafael Nadal as he breezed through 6-2, 6-2 in his first round match with Italian journeyman Simone Bolelli at the Swiss Indoors on Monday.
The 28-year-old Spaniard – who has been on a 10-day antibiotic regime for an appendix which will have to be removed in the coming weeks – recorded his first victory in three visits to Basel in just 71 minutes breaking Bolelli four times.
He next plays France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who defeated another Frenchman Eduard Roger-Vasselin 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 7-6 (7/3).
Nadal had been unsure of taking to the court as a result of his medical worries. But he said that getting through in good form was a huge relief.
“I had some doubts with myself that I would be able to compete well,” said Nadal, seeded second in the event behind five-time champion and home hero Roger Federer.
“Today was a very positive victory for me.
“I’m very happy for what happened. With my (summer-long) wrist injury and now the appendix, it’s not been a great season. This was a dangerous match for me and I won it.
“I’m very pleased with what happened. When you are 10 days on antibiotics, the body goes down some, you feel a little scared on how you will play.
“But I’m happy with my performance today, I’m looking forward to playing the next round on Wednesday.”
Nadal began against Bolelli, a 77th-ranked qualifier by winning a seven-minute opening game before settling into his familiar match rhythm.
He broke twice to claim the first set in 31 minutes and earned a break in the second for 4-2 on the way to victory over the 29-year-old.
Nadal, who has despite his fitness problems won four titles this year including his ninth French Open crown, is amazed that it’s been a decade since his last Basel appearance.
“Ten years without being here, that’s a long time. But finally I’m here,” he said.
“I was really sorry not be able to come here last year (fatigue). But I’m happy to be here now.
“Änd I’m really happy to get my first Basel win,” added Nadal, who lost to Feliciano Lopez in 2003 and Rainer Schuettler a year later.