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."
Roland-Garros
Serena has 'excellent' chance of French Open glory - Wilander, plus Evert reaction
04/06/2021 AT 16:37

'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."
The Australian Open is live on Eurosport. Watch every match live and ad-free on the Eurosport app and eurosport.co.uk. You can download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.
Roland-Garros
‘Fills me with sadness’ - Halep withdraws from French Open
21/05/2021 AT 10:14
ATP Rome
Injuries, upsets and champions rising - What did we learn from Italian Open?
16/05/2021 AT 23:14