• VTR Open

Nadal: I need courage in comeback

ESPN staff
February 6, 2013
Rafael Nadal is competing in an ATP event in South America for the first time since 2005

Rafael Nadal says he must "compete courageously" as he continues his return from a knee injury at the VTR Open in Chile.

Nadal played his first match in seven months on the ATP Tour on Tuesday - a doubles match with his friend Juan Monaco as the pair won comfortably, 6-3 6-2.

Prior to the game his last match was in June in the second round at Wimbledon - where he lost in five sets to Lukas Rosol.

Still the world No. 5, Nadal said it was great to be playing again but admitted that as a test of the condition of his right knee it did not tell him that much.

A better assessment will be in Wednesday's singles match with Federico Delbonis.

"It was a great feeling to play again and I'm very happy for doing it with a friend like Monaco in a great atmosphere that we had on the court," Nadal said. "In doubles the effort is always less; we will see how it goes in singles and how my physical condition is.

"I chose this tournament because it is the perfect time and surface. My aim is to compete courageously and hopefully the knee will stand up to it."

In the time he has been out injured, Nadal has seen his three main rivals Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray all pick up grand slam titles, while the Briton also took his Olympic crown.

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