By Mike Dickson for the Daily Mail
Published: 23:16 BST, 16 September 2020 | Updated: 23:28 BST, 16 September 2020
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic spent their returns to the court serving notice that suggestions of a new world order may be premature.
Between them they conceded seven games at the Italian Open after very different absences from the competitive arena.
While Djokovic breezed past Italian Salvatore Caruso following his New York embarrassment, Nadal hammered US Open semi-finalist Pablo Carreno Busta 6-1, 6-1 in 73 minutes on Wednesday night.
Rafael Nadal got his quest for a 10th Internazionali BNL d'Italia crown off to a strong start
It was Nadal's first match since February 29 but clearly he has not spent all the intervening time in his fishing boat. Nadal sat out Flushing Meadows, declining to defend his title from the previous year in order to focus on clocking up a 13th French Open title.
By the time he had overwhelmed Carreno Busta he had sent a clear message to US