Rafael Nadal played his first match since his semifinal defeat to Juan Martin del Potro at the US Open and his recovery from an abdominal injury.
The 6-time Grand Slammer was pushed by Marcos Baghdatis in Beijing but eventually prevailed taking out the Cypriot 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the first round. He'll face James Blake next and will try to close the gap in the H2H which currently sits at 2-3 in favor of the American baller.
Rafa also debuted some new colorways of the Nike duds he's been wearing recently but they've also been renamed for the season. He's working the Nike Winter Bold Master Polo ($60) in green spark with black + white paired with Nike Woven Winter Woven Long Short ($55) in dark obsidian navy with white + green spark.
I'm liking the bright green spark choice but it's certainly not a color everyone could get away with wearing (unless your a bronzed, primal tennis gawd.) Those of you with yellow undertones in your skin should run far, FAR away unless you'd like to look like, uh, death.
The shorts aren't really doing anything for me, though the boldness of the style is fitting for Rafa. The design doesn't really match up - it looks messy and patched together. I much prefer the older style especially from his championship run in Oz which featured a subtle, clean window pane effect.
So much bettah.
(Photos: Getty, TennisWarehouse.com)