Tennis News: Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal Make Tennis Comeback on Thursday

By Noboru Wataya , Updated Dec 15, 2016 07:54 PM EST

Rafael Nadal played competitive tennis for the first time since October, while Maria Sharapova played reigning Olympic women's singles champ Monica Puig in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Thursday.

Nadal at the Spanish National Championships:

Rafael Nadal joined forces with Marc Lopez anew to win their quarterfinal match against Carlos Taberner and Bernabe Zapata on Thursday. Nadal and Lopez, the gold medalist in men's doubles at the Rio Olympics, dominated the match from the get-go en route to a 6-0, 6-2 win.

They will be returning to the court on Friday in the semifinal match. Thursday's match was the first competitive game for Nadal since shutting down his campaign in October.

Sporting News:

"The event, essentially being used as preparation for the new season by a handful of Spain's leading lights, is being staged at Nadal's recently-opened Academy.

Nadal is not playing singles at the tournament, saying he is not ready to do that just yet. He is due to return to singles action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition event on December 29 when he takes on Tomas Berdych. Andy Murray will also be playing in Abu Dhabi."

MasSha in Puerto Rico

Meanwhile, another tennis star is also making her comeback on Thursday. Former world's no.1 and 6-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova is in Puerto Rico to play Monica Puig in an exhibition match.

Both managed by IMG, Sharapova will be playing an active WTA circuit player for the first time since January at the 2016 Australian Open. The 15-month suspension for testing positive for a banned substance will be lifted in April, allowing Sharapova to participate in her marquee event, the French Open - where she's a two-time champion.

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