In Rafael Nadal’s first court action since an early ousting at Wimbledon, he breezed to a 6-4,6-0 victory versus Richard Gasquet in the China Open. The sometimes phony helicopter pilot had no lingering issues with the wrist injury which kept him for appearing in this year’s US Open.
Next up for Nadal is a Thursday match with ATP No. 99 ranked Peter Gojowczyk of Germany.
RAFAEL NADAL: BOUQUET BEARER
Following his match, Nadal — usually on the receiving end of flowers from fans or tournament organizers — was called into duty as a bouquet bearer for Li Na’s official send-off ceremony.
See if you can spot Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, and Ana Ivanovic among the gathered well wishers in the video clip from National Tennis Stadium in Beijing.
FAREWELL TO A CHAMPION
— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) September 19, 2014
Last month, Li Na announced her retirement from tennis in a long Facebook post to fans, friends and family.
Li said 再见 (goodbye) to the game as the most successful Asian female tennis player in history. She won nine WTA singles titles, including two Grand Slam singles titles (the 2011 French Open and 2014 Australian Open) over her professional career which began in 1999.