Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Rafael Nadal overcoming his 'bad feeling'

updated 2:20 PM EST, Sat February 9, 2013
Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his quarterfinal match in Vina del Mar.
Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning his quarterfinal match in Vina del Mar.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Rafael Nadal reaches semifinals of Chilean event in his long-awaited comeback
  • He beats compatriot Daniel Gimeno-Traver to set up clash with Jeremy Chardy
  • Spaniard also through to the final of the doubles event in Vina del Mar
  • He and Juan Monaco will play Italians Paolo Lorenzi and Potito Starace

(CNN) -- Slowly but surely, Rafael Nadal is feeling his confidence come back.

Three days into his return to the ATP World Tour after a seven-month absence, the former world No. 1 has reached the singles semifinals of the VTR Open in Chile and also earned a shot at the doubles title.

"Today I had more confidence than the other days," Nadal said after Friday's victory over seventh-seeded fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver.

"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 semifinals after seven months."

Having not played since his shock second-round defeat at Wimbledon late last June, the 11-time grand slam champion has slipped to fifth in the rankings as he has battled knee problems and then an stomach illness that forced him to miss the Australian Open.

Eleven-time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal made a winning return to singles action on Wednesday, beating Argentine Federico Delbonis. Eleven-time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal made a winning return to singles action on Wednesday, beating Argentine Federico Delbonis.
Rafael Nadal returns in Chile
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
>
>>
Rafael Nadal returns in Chile Rafael Nadal returns in Chile
Rafael Nadal's injury heartache
Navratilova talks Nadal's shock defeat

Read: Nadal - I must be humble in comeback

A little after 6 p.m. on a breezy midweek summer evening in Vina del Mar, Chile, Rafael Nadal walked on to the clay court at the 2013 VTR Open after a seven-month injury absence that had many fearing for his career. The whirling click, click, click of cameras and shouts of "Rafa! Rafa!" echoed around the venue as the 11-time grand slam winner walked across the court tight lipped and unsmiling, waving half-heartedly at the crowd. Rolando Santos was there for CNN with his camera. A little after 6 p.m. on a breezy midweek summer evening in Vina del Mar, Chile, Rafael Nadal walked on to the clay court at the 2013 VTR Open after a seven-month injury absence that had many fearing for his career. The whirling click, click, click of cameras and shouts of "Rafa! Rafa!" echoed around the venue as the 11-time grand slam winner walked across the court tight lipped and unsmiling, waving half-heartedly at the crowd. Rolando Santos was there for CNN with his camera.
The King holds court
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
Rafael Nadal\'s road to redemption Rafael Nadal's road to redemption

"In this tournament I had a good feeling. The crowd gave me their support all the time. It helps a lot when you come with a bad feeling," said the 26-year-old, who was to play French third seed Jeremy Chardy in Saturday's semifinals.

The seven-time French Open champion is seeking his 37th title on clay, having stretched his Open era win record to 256-19 on the surface.

If he beats Chardy, he will face an Argentine in the final after 73rd-ranked Horacio Zeballos reached his first ATP semi with victory over fifth seed Albert Ramos.

The 27-year-old will play eighth-seeded compatriot Carlos Berlocq, the world No. 81 who lost to Nadal's doubles partner Juan Monaco in last year's final at Vina del Mar.

Nadal will be seeking the eighth doubles title of his career when he and Monaco play Italians Paolo Lorenzi and Potito Starace.

They progressed with a 6-3 6-4 win over Berlocq and Leonardo Mayer.

Meanwhile, Petra Kvitova and Lucie Safarova gave Fed Cup champions the Czech Republic a 2-0 lead over Australia after the first day of their World Group tie in Ostrava on Saturday.

Former Wimbledon champion Kvitova beat 168th-ranked Jarmila Gajdosova 7-6 (7-2) 6-3, then world No. 18 Safarova upset No. 9 Samantha Stosur 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-4).

Kvitova can put the Czechs into the semifinals by beating former U.S. Open champion Stosur in Sunday's opening reverse singles.

Serbia, beaten in last year's final, received a lifeline when Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova retired due to severe cramps when leading 6-4 5-4 against Vesna Dolonc in Nis.

Daniela Hantuchova had earlier won 7-5 6-2 against Bojana Jovanovski, elevated to No. 1 in the home Serbian team due to the late withdrawals of former world No. 1s Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic through injury.

Japan and Russia were also tied 1-1 in Moscow, where world No. 57 Ayumi Morita leveled the best-of-five match with a 6-2 6-2 win over 20th-ranked Ekaterina Makarova.

Maria Kirilenko, at 13th the highest-ranked player in the first-round tie, won the opening singles rubber 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 against 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm.

The United States fought back to level at 1-1 against Italy as Varvara Lepchenko beat Roberta Vinci 2-6 6-4 7-5 in Rimini.

Last year's French Open finalist Sara Errani defeated 64th-ranked Jamie Hampton 6-2 6-1 in the opening match.

The U.S. team is without the Williams sisters Serena and Venus as well as Australian Open semifinalist Sloane Stephens.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:48 AM EDT, Thu September 11, 2014
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
updated 2:36 AM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
updated 9:34 AM EDT, Sun September 14, 2014
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
ADVERTISEMENT