Rafael Nadal returns to ATP Tour with doubles win at VTR Open in Chile
Last Updated: 06/02/13 12:16am
Rafael Nadal: Won in the doubles at the VTR Open in Chile
Rafael Nadal made a successful return to the ATP Tour as he teamed up with Juan Monaco to win his first-round doubles match at the VTR Open in Chile.
Monaco and Nadal, who was playing his first competitive tennis match in over seven months, claimed a 6-3 6-2 victory over Czech pair Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy.
A lingering knee problem sidelined Nadal for the second half of 2012, with his last match that year being a shock defeat to Lukas Rosol in the second round of Wimbledon.
The Spaniard was originally scheduled to come back at the start of the current season but pulled out of the Australian Open after his recovery was interrupted by a stomach virus.
When asked about his knee, the slightly frustrated 26-year-old said: "The knee I said it when I got here. I would prefer not to keep talking about the topic.
"At the end of the day the doctors have said it's OK. There is no risk of making it worse. My knee keeps hurting. But the fact I am playing here is a thing of joy.
"I am not 100%, I need some weeks. If it hurts, it hurts and we'll put up with it. I am here to play tennis, with or without pain. I'm happy to have played an official game, although it was doubles."
Nadal is the top seed for the singles tournament at the VTR Open and will open his campaign against Argentina's Federico Delbonis on Wednesday.