Now that he finally has a competitive match under his belt after seven months on the sidelines, Rafael Nadal wants to stop talking about his injured left knee.
Nadal , whose knee problem has lingered despite ongoing therapy, marked his return to the tour with a doubles victory on Tuesday alongside Juan Monaco at a little-known clay court tournament in Chile.
The Spaniard had not played since June 28 when he was upset in the second round of Wimbledon by qualifier Lukas Rosol.
Nadal and Monaco won easily in just over an hour at the VTR Open, defeating the Czech pair of Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy 6-3, 6-2.
“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.”
“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 has avoided surgery, and he suggested he hoped to continue on the same path.
“If one day it is worse, and one can’t compete at 100 per cent, then it can’t be done,” he said.
Nadal showed quick reactions with a difficult backhand volley at the net to win the sixth game of the first set. Nadal and Monaco broke in the next game, and Nadal held serve in the next to make it 5-3 en route to a first set victory.
Nadal hit several powerful forehands at sharp angles to win points, and seemed at ease moving around the court. And he drew the usual whistles from female fans as he stripped off his shirt after the win.