Nadal beats Delbonis in first singles in 7 months

Nadal beats Delbonis in first singles in 7 months
February 6, 2013, 6:25 pm
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Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Argentina's Federico Delbonis during a VTR Open tennis match in Vina del Mar, Chile, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. Nadal, whose knee problem has lingered despite on-going therapy, marked his return to the tour with a doubles victory Tuesday alongside Juan Monaco at a little-known clay court tournament in Chile. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)

(APWF)

VINA DEL MAR, Chile (AP) Rafael Nadal rebounded from a poor start to defeat Federico Delbonis of Argentina 6-3, 6-2 on Wednesday in the second round of the VTR Open.

It was his first singles match since losing in Wimbledon more than seven months ago.

Nadal won in doubles on Tuesday with partner Juan Monaco, but the singles debut was a bigger test for the Spaniard and his injured left knee, which kept him away from the competitive game since June 28.

The seven-time French Open champion said Tuesday he's tired of answering questions about his knee and must adjust to playing with the pain. Nadal has not had surgery and is undergoing therapy and playing with a bandage.

He's acknowledged he's less than 100 percent, and his coach and uncle Toni Nadal has said doctors expect him to have to play with discomfort.