Rafael Nadal advanced to the Brisbane International quarterfinals on Thursday after defeating wildcard Jason Kubler 6-1, 6-2, extending his remarkable return.
Nadal was simply too powerful for the Australian, who lacked the shots to hurt the Spaniard, in his first competition since being forced to withdraw due to injury at the 2023 Australian Open.
The 37-year-old Nadal dominated the second set, jumping out to a 5-0 lead until Kubler eventually held service to tie the match. Nadal defeated former US Open champion Dominic Thiem in the opening round.
Nearly as spectacular was the second set, which Nadal won in one hour and twenty-three minutes.
He is still on course to meet second seed Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinals. He will take on another Australian, Jordan Thompson, in the quarterfinals.