Santiago: Tennis former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal made a winning return to the circuit after being out for more than seven months due to a left knee injury.
The Spaniard partnered Juan Monaco to beat Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy from Czech Republic 6-3, 6-2 in the VTR clay-court tournament here Tuesday.
Nadal, who was bothered by a lingering knee problem, had not played since June 28 when he was upset in the second round of Wimbledon Open.
"The knee, I said it when I got here. I would prefer not to keep talking about the topic," Nadal said. "At the end of the day the doctors have said it`s OK. There is no risk of making it worse. My knee keeps hurting. But the fact I am playing here is a thing of joy."
"I am not 100 percent, I need some weeks," he added. "If it hurts, it hurts and we`ll put up with it. I am here to play tennis, with or without pain. ...I`m happy to have played an official game, although it was doubles."
Nadal will play in singles Wednesday against Argentine Federico Delbonis.