I need days and time to get my game back, but so far the feeling on court is great.
Rafael Nadal was delighted to make a winning return to action in Chile
The world No. 5 survived an early scare but rallied to reach the quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-2 victory over Federico Delbonis at the VTR Open.
Playing in his first competitive singles match since June after being sidelined with a knee injury, Nadal showed signs of rust as he dropped the opening two games.
However, the Spaniard soon found his rhythm and bounced back, winning 10 of the next 11 games to take control of the match before wrapping up victory inside an hour and a half.
Nadal, who had issued a word of caution after making his return in the doubles on Tuesday, was thrilled to be back on court after nearly eight months on the sidelines.
“I'm happy to play a singles match after so long,” Nadal said. “I need days and time to get my game back, but so far the feeling on court is great.
“For now the most important thing is to spend as much time as possible on court. This victory allows me to play at least two more matches, singles and doubles.
“To practise is one thing but to play is totally different. In a real match you can't control your body as you do in practice.”
Nadal will meet either Albert Montanes or Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the last eight in Vina del Mar.