Rafael Nadal victorious in first competitive singles match since injury

Spaniard competing at the VTR Open in Chile

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The Independent Online

Rafael Nadal overcame a poor start to see off Federico Delbonis in his first singles match in eight months in the second round of the VTR Open in Chile but second seed Juan Monaco crashed out.

Nadal made his return to competitive tennis yesterday alongside Monaco in the doubles, but today marked his first singles match since a shock second round defeat against Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon eight months ago.

The former world number one, who has been blighted by a knee injury and illness since then, lost the first two games but bounced back to triumph 6-3 6-2 after 87 minutes in Vina del Mar.

Monaco could not join the 11-time major winner in the quarter-final after suffering a 7-6(7/3) 6-4 defeat against world number 93 Guillaume Rufin.

The defending champion was constantly bothered on serve and Rufin managed to seize two of 10 break point opportunities to seal a surprise win in one hour and 32 minutes.

The Frenchman will next play another Argentinian, with eighth seed and last year's runner-up Carlos Berlocq edging out Colombia's Santiago Giraldo 7-5 4-6 6-4.

In first round action, Albert Ramos breezed past Rogerio Dutra Silva 6-4 6-1, Daniel Gimeno-Traver beat Joao Sousa 6-4 4-6 6-1, while Paolo Lorenzi was a 6-1 6-4 winner over fellow Italian Gianluca Naso.