Rafael Nadal was elated to return to professional tennis on Tuesday after nearly a year on the sidelines but the Spaniard said recovering his confidence and natural movements on the court would take time.

Nadal marked his singles comeback after hip surgery with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Austrian former world No. 3 Dominic Thiem in the Brisbane International first round, with the 22-time major winner showing he was far from done with the sport.

The 37-year-old's last match was at the Australian Open in January 2023 and he sat out the rest of the season after undergoing hip surgery a few months later.