Part of complete coverage on
Knee injury continues to 'bother' Rafael Nadal
February 11, 2013 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Defeat at the VTR Open in Chile was Rafael Nadal's fifth in 41 clay court finals.
- Rafael Nadal loses both the singles and doubles finals at the VTR Open
- The event in Chile was Nadal's first for seven months after a knee injury
- The Spaniard beaten 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 by Argentina's Horacio Zeballos
- Zeballos becomes only the third player to beat Nadal in a clay court final
(CNN) -- Rafael Nadal admitted his knee injury continues to "bother" him after the Spaniard suffered double defeat in the final of the singles and doubles tournaments at the VTR Open in Vina del Mar, Chile.
The clay court event was the former world No. 1's first tournament in seven months due to an injury to his left knee, which caused him to miss both the U.S. Open as well as the Australian Open.
"The knee is still bothering me, but you have to face adversity with the best possible face and look forward to keep working and enjoy what I like the most, to play tennis," said the 11-time grand slam champion told the ATP World Tour's website.
Despite his discomfort and a 6-7 (2-7) 7-6 (8-6) 6-4 loss to Argentina's Horacio Zeballos, Nadal stressed the positives he had taken away from the event having played nine matches in six days.
"A week ago we didn't know how the body would respond," the 26-year-old Mallorcan. "[Now] at least I know we can compete at a certain level.
A little after 6 p.m. on a breezy midweek summer evening in Vina del Mar, Chile, Rafael Nadal walked on to the clay court at the 2013 VTR Open after a seven-month injury absence that had many fearing for his career. The whirling click, click, click of cameras and shouts of "Rafa! Rafa!" echoed around the venue as the 11-time grand slam winner walked across the court tight lipped and unsmiling, waving half-heartedly at the crowd. Rolando Santos was there for CNN with his camera.
Rafael Nadal's road to redemption
Rafael Nadal's injury heartache
Rafael Nadal on French Open triumph
Read: Ashe estate goes under the hammer
"I think that was a positive week... I will try to keep improving my physical sensations day-by-day, which is the most important thing because I don't feel that my tennis level is bad. I need more time on court.
World No. 43 Zeballos picked up his first career Tour title and became just the third player to beat Nadal in a clay court final, following in the foot steps of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
It was only Nadal's fifth defeat in 41 clay court finals.
"The tennis is important, but for me the best thing was to have the feelings I've had this week, with a full stadium and one of the best crowds I've ever had in my life," added Nadal. "It's a place I won't forget because of the love people gave me.
"I was two points away from winning the title, but I said from first day that the result was not the most important thing, although I would've liked to win.
"My opponent won, he deserved it and I congratulate him. Still, to win four matches in a row is good news for me."
Nadal and Argentine partner Juan Monaco lost the doubles final to Italians Potito Starace and Paolo Lorenzi.
This week Nadal will continue his rehabilitation in South America, where he will be top seed at this week's Brazil Open in Sao Paulo.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1208 GMT (2008 HKT)
Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
A year that began in uncertainty for Roger Federer ended with a historic title for the 17-time grand slam champion and his country.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1716 GMT (0116 HKT)
The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT)
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
September 14, 2014 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
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.
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
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.