Nadal powers through in Chile

Rafa Nadal advanced to the semi-finals of the VTR OPen in Vina Del Mar with a straight-sets victory over Daniel Gimeno-Traver.

The 11-time Grand Slam champion, playing his first event since a seven-month lay-off from a knee injury, beat his fellow Spaniard 6-1 6-4.

Nadal broke Gimeno-Traver's first service game of the match for a 2-0 lead and again in the sixth game before holding to claim the first set after 33 minutes.

In the second set, Nadal broke in the ninth game and then fought off four break points, the only ones he faced in the match, before holding serve in the final game to advance after 84 minutes.

The 27-year-old plans to play in events in Brazil and Mexico prior to Masters Series tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami.

He will take on either French third seed Jeremy Chardy or Italian sixth seed Paolo Lorenzi for a spot in the final.

The other semi-final will see Horacio Zeballos - a 6-1 5-7 7-6 victor over Albert Ramos - take on fellow Argentine Carlos Berloq, who received a walkover against Guillaume Rufin.