Melbourne, Australia (SportsNetwork.com) - Third seed and 2009 champion Rafael Nadal began the Australian Open with a dominating 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 victory over Russian Mikhail Youzhny.
A finalist his last times in Melbourne, Nadal played just his second match of 2015. The Spaniard lost in the first-round in Doha and was coming off an injury layoff thanks to a right wrist problem.
"At the end you know that you are not going to be at your 100 percent, so the most important thing when you are coming back is accept all the challenges, the weeks, months, that you didn't have the chance to be able to practice, to compete," said Nadal, who also had surgery late last season to remove his appendix. "Just accept every situation. Accept that you're going to be a little slow, a little out of rhythm."
The 14-time major victor fired 37 winners.
Stan Wawrinka stunned Nadal in last year's final at Melbourne Park. Novak Djokiovic had won the three previous finals.
Also Monday, No. 6 seed Andy Murray, a three-time runner-up, topped India's Yuki Bhambri, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).
No. 7 seed Tomas Berdych beat Alejandro Falla, 6-3, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3; 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov took down Dustin Brown, 6-2, 6-3, 6-2; and 14th seed Kevin Anderson defeated Diego Schwartzman, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.
Tommy Robredo, the 15th seed, was ahead 3-2 in the first set against Edouard Roger-Vasselin, but then retired from the match.
No. 20 seed David Goffin eased past Michael Russell, 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 6-0.