Nadal makes winning return in Chile
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0205 GMT (1005 HKT)
Eleven-time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal made a winning return to singles action on Wednesday, beating Argentine Federico Delbonis.
Rafael Nadal returns in Chile
Second seeds beaten
- Fifth-ranked Rafael Nadal triumphs in comeback match in Chilean tournament
- Spaniard teams up with Juan Monaco to win doubles tie in Vina del Mar Open
- He will play his opening singles match against Federico Del Bonis on Wednesday
- Nadal had been sidelined for seven months due to longterm knee problems
(CNN) -- Rafael Nadal made a successful return to the tennis court on Tuesday, ending a seven-month injury absence with victory in a doubles match in Chile.
The former world No. 1 teamed up with Argentina's Juan Monaco for his first competitive outing since losing in the second round at Wimbledon in late June 2012.
They enjoyed a 6-3 6-2 victory over the second-seeded Czech pairing of Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy in the first round of the Vina del Mar Open.
It set up Nadal for his opening singles match on Wednesday, having been given a first-round bye as top seed.
"First win with Pico, we felt a great ambiance on court! Thanks to the crowd and you all for the support!" Nadal tweeted.
Rafael Nadal's injury heartache
Rafael Nadal: Drink responsibly
Navratilova talks Nadal's shock defeat
Read: Nadal - I must be humble in comeback
The 11-time grand slam champion, who is now ranked fifth in the world as he continues his recovery from knee surgery, will play 128th-ranked Federico Del Bonis.
Del Bonis came from behind to beat fellow Argentine Guido Pella 2-6 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-1) on Tuesday.
Nadal said before the claycourt tournament that he would have to be patient in his long-awaited comeback, having missed the season's opening grand slam in Australia due to an illness which delayed his preparations.
"I have to take it slowly and be humble to know that things won't be as good as they were before my injury. I need to be patient," he told reporters in Chile, where he met President Sebastian Pinera when he arrived last Friday.
He practiced with Christian Garin, who on Tuesday became only the fifth 16-year-old to win an ATP World Tour match since 2000.
Ranked 920th, Santiago-born Garin beat Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajovic 6-3 6-4 on his tour-level debut to set up a clash with French third seed Jeremy Chardy.
Having made his first appearance at the ATP World Tour 250 event, Nadal will next play in Brazil and then Mexico as he seeks to regain match fitness ahead of the European clay season.
The 26-year-old is hoping to add to his record seven French Open titles at Roland Garros in June.
Part of complete coverage on
June 7, 2013 -- Updated 2101 GMT (0501 HKT)
For some of the biggest names in tennis, the French Open's red clay courts mean only heartbreak and shattered dreams.
June 6, 2013 -- Updated 1105 GMT (1905 HKT)
She drank alcohol on court, smoked "furiously" and horrified the establishment with her daring outfits and "unladylike" playing style.
May 28, 2013 -- Updated 1445 GMT (2245 HKT)
CNN's Open Court talks to the past five French Open women's champions ahead of the start of the tennis season's second grand slam tournament.
June 3, 2013 -- Updated 1337 GMT (2137 HKT)
CNN's Christina MacFarlane shows us how the French Open maintains its special surface.
June 2, 2013 -- Updated 1343 GMT (2143 HKT)
CNN's Christina MacFarlane shows us what it takes to be an umpire at Roland Garros.
May 27, 2013 -- Updated 1410 GMT (2210 HKT)
CNN visits the Paris jewelry store that crafts the replica trophies taken home by winners French Open winners.
May 21, 2013 -- Updated 0939 GMT (1739 HKT)
Nicknamed the "kissing disease," mononucleosis or glandular fever is a viral illness that is affecting tennis stars.
May 1, 2013 -- Updated 1129 GMT (1929 HKT)
She towers above him, but she can't do without him. Meet the man who has made Maria Sharapova the world's wealthiest female athlete.
April 22, 2013 -- Updated 1511 GMT (2311 HKT)
When Maria Sharapova underwent shoulder surgery five years ago, many thought her tennis career wouldn't last.
April 18, 2013 -- Updated 1258 GMT (2058 HKT)
Nine-year-old Rebecca Suarez stunned onlookers when she was pulled out of the crowd to team up with Del Potro against Nadal.
April 18, 2013 -- Updated 2115 GMT (0515 HKT)
Janko Tipsarevic is of the belief that his fellow professionals aren't doping -- or at least not on a widespread basis.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1429 GMT (2229 HKT)
Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska are hoping to take their relationship to a new level by emulating tennis' most famous sisters.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1402 GMT (2202 HKT)
America's 18-time grand slam champion Chris Evert talks to Open Court about her career and training the next generation of players.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1344 GMT (2144 HKT)
CNN's Don Riddell speaks with 11-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal during one of his comeback tournaments in Mexico.
March 21, 2013 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
Germany's veteran star Tommy Haas opens up to Pat Cash about being away from family on tour, and his many injuries.
March 11, 2013 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)
You'd think John Isner and Nicolas Mahut would be sick of the sight of each other, but their friendship has grown since that epic match.
March 4, 2013 -- Updated 1608 GMT (0008 HKT)
Almost a decade after Andy Roddick's sole U.S. Open victory, America is still waiting for its next male grand slam winner. What's gone wrong?
Today's five most popular stories