It was an emotional day for second seed Simona Halep as she got her Australian Open campaign under way on Rod Laver Arena.
She wasn't out there for long, dismissing home hope Lizette Cabrera 6-2, 6-1, but even in that short time she revelled in being able to play in front of a crowd again.
"I was very emotional before the match, I have to admit, it's always nice to have people around and feel the energy from them," the 29-year-old told Barbara Schett in Eurosport's Cube. "I missed it so much last year and I'm really happy to have the chance to play with the people."
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'I was very emotional' - Halep on returning to Australian Open
The Romanian has had an ongoing struggle with a back problem, but confirmed that it is no longer causing her too many issues.
"I struggled with the back a few days ago, it was too cold with the air conditioning when the roof was closed [on Margaret Court Arena during the warm-up tournament] so my back was a little bit blocked," she explained. "I'm very, very good now."
Highlights | Lizette Cabrera - Simona Halep
Eurosport expert Mats Wilander was impressed with what he saw.
"She looked excellent," he enthused.
Everything that she does well, she did well, she moved well, she served well, hit her backhand in her sleep. She can hit that well, but but she looked really good.
He went on: "I think that the courts are apparently playing even quicker this year, so I think that would favour Simona against players that don't have that much power."
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