Top seed Rafael Nadal cruises through to the ATP Tour final in Chile
Last Updated: February 11, 2013 9:38am
Rafael Nadal celebrates his victory over Jeremy Chardy
Rafael Nadal needed just 64 minutes to book his spot in the final of the VTR Open in Chile, seeing-off Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in straight sets.
The top-seeded Spaniard, playing in his first tournament since Wimbledon of last year, won 6-2 6-2 in Vina Del Mar.
The 26-year-old from Mallorca won the opening four games of the match and never looked in trouble against the world No 26.
He sealed his triumph on his second match point with an ace and he is yet to lose a set this week.
After thrashing the No 3 seed, Nadal said: "I'm really happy with what I've been doing this week.
"I have a good feeling on the court. So I cannot ask for anything more. I will try to play better and better every day.
"I played well today and better than the days before, which is important.
"I won't compare myself to seven months ago, it's just the first week of competition. It's a great feeling to be in a final match after so much time without playing.
"I hope to keep enjoying myself like I've been doing during this tournament and that my physical condition remains good."
A torn tendon and inflammation in his left knee had kept Nadal out of the London Olympics as well as last year's US Open.
His final opponent on Sunday will be Argentinian Horacio Zeballos who eased past compatriot Carlos Berlocq 6-3 7-6 (7/4).
Zeballos, ranked 73rd, overcame the No 8 seed to reach the second ATP Tour final of his career.