Holger Rune won his first match since Wiimbledon on Friday as the revitalised Dane stormed into the ATP Beijing second round 6-4, 6-4 over Felix Auger-Aliassime.
World No. 4 Rune has been troubled by a back injury for the past months but was able to put his recovery to the test in the Chinese capital as he ended a seven-match loss streak with success in 84 minutes.
“It felt good. I’ve had a tough period, both with my body and match circumstances, so I’m just happy to be back feeling good,” the Dane said.
“(I’m) feeling mentally well on and off the court. I’m just super happy with my level today.”
Rune is on the bubble for a place in the eight-man season Finals in Turin in November, but has a Paris Masters trophy defence looming within weeks.
The 20-year-old is counting on his body to hold up after healing time away from the courts.
“I was feeling very good. I didn’t feel anything in my body,” he said. “I don’t mind muscle soreness, but I’m too young to have these kinds of (back) problems.
“I’m super happy to play without pain and just enjoy myself.”
Rune faces Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov next in Beijing after the experienced campaigner earned a 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-1 win over American Mackenzie McDonald.