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 service in the first game but quickly hit back, taking command of the match and winning the first set in 50 minutes at the Pacific coastal city of Vina del Mar.
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.
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.
The 26-year-old, whose planned end-of-year return was delayed due to illness, will now compete on his favorite clay surface at three Latin American events this month.
Nadal will compete at the Brazil Open in Sao Paulo next week and the Mexico Open in Acapulco from Feb 25.