Wed, 13 Feb 2013 10:45:00 GMT | By AFP

Rafael Nadal wins doubles debut at Brazil Open

Rafa and Nalbandian won 6-3, 3-6, 11-9 in just 79 minutes over fellow Spaniards Pablo Andujar and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez


Rafael Nadal wins doubles debut at Brazil Open (© AFP)

Sao Paulo: Spain's Rafael Nadal teamed up with Argentina's David Nalbandian to post a three-set doubles victory in the Brazil Open late on Tuesday.

The world number five, back on court after his defeat in the Vina del Mar Open in Chile on Sunday, and Nalbandian won 6-3, 3-6, 11-9 in just 79 minutes over fellow Spaniards Pablo Andujar and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the first- round of the ATP Tour clay court event.

The match started two hours behind schedule and Nadal, wearing a white knee brace, was greeted with thunderous applause when he appeared on the court in the 9,300-seat Ibirapuera gymnasium.

The winning duo was to play in the second round on Wednesday.

As the top seed, the 11-time Grand Slam champion enjoyed a first-round singles bye and will open his singles campaign Thursday.

He lost the singles and doubles finals Sunday at his comeback event in Vina del Mar, Chile following a seven-month knee injury absence.

"I am a bit tired after a hard week in Chile. But it was positive," Nadal said earlier in the day. "The process of recovery follows its course. As always I come here to do the best possible and hope that things turn out all right."

Sao Paulo is the second stop on Nadal's comeback to the ATP World Tour. The Spaniard won the Brazil Open in 2005 when it was held in Costa do Sauipe.

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