Nadal overcomes slow start to advance in Chile

Wed Feb 6, 2013 7:19pm EST
 

VINA DEL MAR, Chile (Reuters) - Rafa Nadal overcame a slow start to beat Argentine Federico Delbonis 6-3 6-2 and advance to the third round of the Chilean Open with his first singles victory in seven months on Wednesday.

Nadal lost his serve in the first game but quickly hit back, taking command of the match and winning the first set in 50 minutes at the Pacific resort city of Vina del March

The French Open champion seemed surprised when Delbonis took a 2-0 lead, but with some fierce shots he put things in their place.

The former world number one began to vary his game and showed greater mobility in a one-sided second set which he wrapped up in 38 minutes.

"I feel happy to be playing singles again. It's been an important day for me," Nadal told local television after the match.

"Thanks for supporting me. I'd never dreamed of a comeback like this," he added in front of an ecstatic crowd.

"It was a tough start. Federico played really well and forced me to run a lot".

Nadal took advantage of four of his eleven chances to break Delbonis's serve.

The Spanish left-hander had been out with a knee injury since losing to Czech Lukas Rosol in the second round at Wimbledon in June.   Continued...

 
Spain's Rafael Nadal gestures after winning a match against Argentina's Federico Delbonis during their men's singles match at the Chilean Open tennis tournament in Vina del Mar city February 6, 2013. REUTERS/Eliseo Fernandez