x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Rafael Nadal coasts to victory at Chilean Open in first match back after injury

The world number five partnered with Juan Monaco to win 6-3 6-2 at Vina del Mar in his first competitive match since losing at Wimbledon last summer.

Juan Monaco and Rafael Nadal celebrate their victory over Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy at the Chilean Open.
Juan Monaco and Rafael Nadal celebrate their victory over Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy at the Chilean Open.

Rafael Nadal admitted it felt good to return to action after ending his seven-month injury lay-off with an emphatic doubles victory at the Chilean Open last night.

The world number five, playing his first playing his first tournament since he was beaten in the second round at Wimbledon by journeyman Lukas Rosol in late June, is the focus of attention at the $410,200 (Dh1.5m) tournament.

In his first competitive match back, he teemed with Juan Monaco of Argentina to post a 6-3 6-2 win over second seeds Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy in the first round of the doubles.

The pair too just an hour to wrap up their win, with the 11-time Grand Slam champion - who will open his singles campaign this week in the second round against Federico Delbonis - happy with his performance.

"It's a good feeling to be back," he said.

"We'll see how the knee reacts. The moment and the surfaces were the right ones and playing for the first time in this country was a great opportunity.

"Playing doubles is less aggressive. We will see how it goes in singles and how my physical condition is."

Nadal, who will be 27 in June, has been careful to play down expectations, saying he still has some pain from his troublesome knees and doesn't expect to immediately rediscover his old winning ways in his first tournament back.

The Vina del Mar event is a starting point for a clay court season that culminates with the French Open in Paris starting in May.

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