Part of complete coverage on
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.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
May 5, 2014 -- Updated 2359 GMT (0759 HKT)
The Ukrainian-born, British tennis star loses fight against liver cancer, just a few weeks after revealing that she was battling the disease.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1420 GMT (2220 HKT)
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1800 GMT (0200 HKT)
Rafael Nadal may be most at home on a clay tennis court, but he has always found comfort on the sea.