Source: Agencies | 2013-3-11 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
RAFAEL Nadal, playing on a hard court for the first time in almost a year, defeated Ryan Harrison 7-6 (3), 6-2 in a second-round match at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday in Indian Wells, California.
Nadal, a two-time champion at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, had missed seven months because of a left knee injury and hadn't played on a hard court since March 29, 2012.
The Spanish star returned to the ATP Tour a month ago. He played three clay tournaments, winning two of those and saying his knee felt better each week.
Nadal took a 4-1 lead in the opening set with a performance that he rated as "nothing special but OK," then lost three games in a row as Harrison pulled even. Nadal reasserted himself in the tiebreaker, racing out to a 5-1 lead, and he took control of the second set by winning five games in a row after Harrison had held serve to open the set.
"I am satisfied to be in the next round. That's the most important thing," said Nadal, seeded fifth. "Two weeks ago I didn't really know if I would be here playing. I am happy to be here. I am happy to be in the third round. Good victory for me today against a good opponent.
"I am fine. My physical performance needs to improve. My movements need to improve," he added.
Earlier, Roger Federer beat Denis Istomin of Russia 6-2, 6-3 in their second-round match.
Federer, who won his fourth title here last year, lost just four points on serve.
Lleyton Hewitt upset No. 15 seed John Isner 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-4.
Kevin Anderson of South Africa ousted No. 4 seed David Ferrer of Spain 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
In other matches, Benoit Paire of France beat No. 20 Philipp Kohlschreiber, Jarkko Nieminen of Finland topped No. 28 Fernando Verdasco and Leonardo Mayer eliminated No. 30 Mikhail Youzhny.
Also, the women's top seed and reigning champion Victoria Azarenka beat two-time champion Daniela Hantuchova 6-4, 6-1.