VINA DEL MAR, Chile – Rafael Nadal won his first of two matches Friday in a test of his sore left knee, defeating fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-1, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the VTR Open.
Nadal had not played for seven months until he took the court earlier this week in the Pacific coastal resort city. With a doubles match set for later Friday, Nadal will have played five matches in four days. He's yet to lose a set.
If he wins in doubles, he'll play two more matches Saturday — the doubles final and a singles semifinal.
The former No. 1-ranked player came to South America to work himself into shape and strengthen his inflamed knee. So far, he's taking full advantage of the opportunity.