Rafael Nadal through in Chile

  • Last Updated: February 9 2013, 8:43 GMT

Rafa Nadal advanced to the semi-finals of the VTR Open in Vina Del Mar with a straight-sets victory over Daniel Gimeno-Traver.

Rafa Nadal: On the way back in Vina Del Mar
Rafa Nadal: On the way back in Vina Del Mar

The 11-time Grand Slam champion, playing his first event since a seven-month lay-off from a knee injury, beat his fellow Spaniard 6-1 6-4.

Nadal broke Gimeno-Traver's first service game of the match for a 2-0 lead and again in the sixth game before holding to claim the first set after 33 minutes.

In the second set, Nadal broke in the ninth game and then fought off four break points, the only ones he faced in the match, before holding serve in the final game to advance after 84 minutes.

The 26-year-old plans to play in events in Brazil and Mexico prior to Masters Series tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami.

Nadal will next play third seed Jeremy Chardy after the Frenchman breezed past Paolo Lorenzi of Italy 6-2 6-3.

Chardy was dominant throughout, winning 89 per cent of points on his first serve, and sealed victory in just over an hour.

"Today I had more confidence than the other days,'' Nadal told the ATP's official website. "That is positive. It gives me confidence, and reasons to believe that I'm on the right way.

"I'm happy to win in singles against a tough opponent like Dani and to reach the semi-finals after seven months.

"In this tournament I had a good feeling. The crowd gave me their support all the time.''

The other semi-final will see Horacio Zeballos - a 6-1 5-7 7-6 (8/6) victor over Albert Ramos - take on fellow Argentine Carlos Berloq, who received a walkover against Guillaume Rufin (abdominal strain).

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