By Mark Lamport-Stokes
INDIAN WELLS, California (Reuters) - With the tennis world watching closely, Rafa Nadal made a successful return to Indian Wells with a 7-6 6-2 victory over Ryan Harrison in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.
Though initially looking a little rusty, the Spanish left-hander showed no visible sign of discomfort after being sidelined for seven months last year by a left knee injury before sealing the win in just over an hour and a half.
Playing his first match on a hard-court surface in 346 days, Nadal edged a close first set 7-3 in the tiebreak, then broke Harrison's serve in the third and fifth games of the second to take firm control.
The Spanish world number five, who had his left knee taped up through the match, served out to book his place in the third round, ending Harrison's brave challenge with an overhead smash to spark loud roars from the crowd.
(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Patrick Johnston)
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