Rafael Nadal won in straight sets in the VTR Open quarterfinals.
MARIO RUIZ/Landov

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.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.