Nadal reaches semifinals in return to competition

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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