Nadal makes winning return
BY STEPHEN WADE, AP Sports Writer
VINA DEL MAR, Chile -- Rafael Nadal wants to stop talking about the aching left knee that kept him away from the ATP Tour for just over seven months until his doubles victory Tuesday with Juan Monaco at a little-known clay court tournament in Chile.
Nadal, whose inflamed knee has lingered despite on-going therapy, 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. Nadal's practice sessions in Chile have lasted longer, and the first question centered on his knee -- a sore subject with the Spaniard.
The former No. 1-ranked Nadal addressed the question for several minutes, and then said he wanted to drop the subject and concentrate on tennis as he begins a buildup to what could be his eighth French Open title.
"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."