(Brisbane) Famous tennis player Rafael Nadal appeared in good physical condition on Tuesday during his return to competition after a year of absence.

The 37-year-old Spaniard won his first match against former world number three Dominic Thiem in straight sets, 7-5, 6-1 at the Brisbane International, Australia.

The winner of 22 grand slam tournaments had not played a single match at the elite level since his elimination in the second round of the Australian Open last January. He had to undergo lengthy rehabilitation following a hip injury.

The veteran left-hander made only six unforced errors on Tuesday and lost only three points on his serve in the first set. He clinched the win in 89 minutes.

Rafael Nadal, who was ranked 672nd in the ATP rankings on Tuesday, said the past 12 months have been among the most difficult of his professional career. After the match, he maintained that this day was emotional and important for him.