• VTR Open

Nadal dominates Delbonis for winning return

ESPN staff
February 6, 2013

Rafael Nadal overcame a slovenly start to mark his return to competitive singles action with a straight sets win over Federico Delbonis at the VTR Open in Chile

Nadal had not played a competitive singles encounter since his defeat to Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon last year. A serious knee injury raised doubts about his ability to return to the top of the game, but he proved his well-being with a 6-3 6-2 win.

The former world No. 1 looked on good terms in a doubles match 24 hours previous, but he made a slow start against Delbonis.

He dropped the first two games and was 0-30 down in the third, but dug in to hold and it was pretty much one-way traffic from there as Nadal ran through 10 of the next 11 games to take the first set and a commanding 4-0 lead in the second set before wrapping up the win in 88 minutes.

There was an upset in the bottom half of the draw, as No. 2 seed Juan Monaco was beaten 7-6(2) 6-4 by Guillaume Rufin. The first set was a tight affair, with one break apiece, but Rufin powered through the breaker and he had the upper hand throughout the second.

The fifth seed Albert Ramos had no trouble in dispatching Rogerio Dutra Silva, while Daniel Gimeno-Traver beat Joao Sousa in three sets.

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