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Rafael Nadal teams up with Juan Monaco for doubles win after 7-month absence from tennis

Rafael Nadal has won his first match after being away for more than seven months because of a knee injury.

The former No. 1-ranked Nadal partnered with Juan Monaco to defeat the Czech pair of Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy 6-3,6-2 on Tuesday in the VTR clay-court tournament in this Pacific coastal resort city.

Nadal, whose left knee inflammation lingered despite on-going therapy, has not played since June 28 when he was upset in the second round of Wimbledon by qualifier Lukas Rosol.

He opens in singles on Wednesday against Argentine Federico Delbonis, hoping to catch up with the other three of tennis' Big Four — Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray.

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