After missing seven months due to injury and then being forced to sit out the Australian Open due to a stomach virus, Nadal will take part in the ATP event in Vina del Mar as a wildcard.
The 26-year-old told reporters after a training session in his native Mallorca that he is excited at the prospect of returning to top-level tennis, but nagging doubts over his knee persist. “I’m looking forward to competing again and taking part in a top-level tournament.
“I hope the knee responds well and that it tolerates the demands of professional competition. There are still days when it bothers me but it is evident that I will need time before the knee is used to top-level competition again,” added Nadal, whose second-round encounter is scheduled February 6.