Nadal moves up return, will play in Chile Open

Rafael Nadal plans to return to tennis a bit earlier than

expected.

Chile Open organizers announced Thursday that Nadal will make

his debut in the clay-court event, which starts Feb. 4 in Vina del

Mar.

Nadal hasn’t played tennis since June, mainly because of

tendinitis in his left knee. He was scheduled to play in an Abu

Dhabi exhibition event in late December, but a stomach virus forced

him to withdraw and skip the Australian Open.

He then planned to return in late February. But on Tuesday,

organizers of the Brazil Open in Sao Paulo said he enter the

tournament, which begins on Feb. 11. He’s also signed up for the

Mexican Open in Acapulco on Feb. 25.

He won the Brazil and Mexican titles the only time he entered

them in 2005.