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Tennis

Nadal reaches semifinals in return to competition

Photo: MARIO RUIZ/Landov

Rafael Nadal won in straight sets in the VTR Open quarterfinals.

VINA DEL MAR, Chile (AP) Rafael Nadal won his first of two matches Friday in a test of his sore left knee, defeating fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-1, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the VTR Open.

Nadal had not played for seven months until he took the court earlier this week in the Pacific coastal resort city. With a doubles match set for later Friday, Nadal will have played five matches in four days. He's yet to lose a set.

If he wins in doubles, he'll play two more matches Saturday - the doubles final and a singles semifinal.

The former No. 1-ranked player came to South America to work himself into shape and strengthen his inflamed knee. So far, he's taking full advantage of the opportunity.

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