Rafael Nadal Displaying Championship Form in First Tournament of 2013

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIIFebruary 8, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26:  Rafael Nadal of Spain hits a backhand return during his his Gentlemen's Singles first round match against Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil on day two of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal won his first match back since injury. That win in his first tournament of 2013 shows that he's back in championship form.

At the VTR Open in Chile, Nadal beat Federico Delbonis 6-3, 6-2.

It was a great start after missing seven months due to a knee injury, having been absent for the 2012 U.S. Open and the Australian Open. 

For all his accomplishments, it's hard to remember that he's only 26. This is a guy who has established himself as one of the best players to ever pick up a racket. After all, Nadal has won 11 Grand Slam championships, including seven French Opens and an Olympic gold medal in 2008.

So maybe we shouldn't be surprised that Nadal made it look so easy in his first match back.

Yes, Delbonis is ranked 128th in the world, so Nadal didn't have to play in championship form to win.

And yes, Nadal missed a few shots and was still a bit tentative.  That's to be expected after seven months off. But Nadal has shown that he can come back and win. He's the favorite to win the VTR Open and probably will. 

The French Open is still a few months away, and Nadal has plenty of time to prepare. He'll be ready.

He proved that he can come back after a tough injury and win. He proved that he's still one of the best players in the world. 

By the time the French Open rolls around, Nadal will be in top form and will undoubtedly be one of the favorites. 

In the meantime, Nadal has shown that he's still one of the best out there. Coming back from any injury is difficult. Coming back after seven months and winning is even more impressive.

Rafa is back. He's ready to roll and win some big matches. With one win under his belt, he's on his way to more championships. 

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