Rafael Nadal, playing his first event after a seven-month injury layoff, advanced to the semifinals of the 410,200-dollar Vina del Mar ATP claycourt tournament with a straight-sets win Friday.
The 11-time Grand Slam champion from Spain ousted seventh-seeded countryman Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-1, 6-4.
Top seed Nadal will face French third seed Jeremy Chardy -- who cruised past sixth seed Paolo Lorenzi of Italy 6-2, 6-3 -- for a place in the final.
Until this week, Nadal had not played since a shock second-round exit from Wimbledon in June.
A torn tendon and inflammation in his left knee kept the former world number one out of the London Olympics and the 2012 US Open, and a virus delayed his return.