Nadal proves he’s back with Brazil Open title

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Nadal proves he’s back with Brazil Open title

SAO PAULO - Rafael Nadal beat David Nalbandian 6-2, 6-3 in the Brazil Open final on Sunday, winning his first title since returning from a seven-month layoff to treat his left knee.

Nadal thrust his arms into the air and pumped his fist after a long ball by Nalbandian made him the champion of the indoor clay-court tournament for the second time. The Spaniard also won the event in 2005.

‘’I’ll definitely enjoy this one because of all the problems that I’ve gone through with the knee,’’ he said. ‘’When I won for the first time here I was just starting and hopefully this will mark a new beginning.’’

It was Nadal’s 51st singles title, and first since winning the French Open for the seventh time last June.

Nadal struggled to find a rhythm in the beginning but was still able to break Nalbandian’s serve twice to take the first set. He then rallied from 3-0 down in the second to win six straight games and close out the match in 1 hour, 18 minutes.

The 93rd-ranked Nalbandian made his first appearance in a final since he was disqualified for kicking an advertisement board and injuring a line judge at Queen’s Club last June. The former world No. 3 hasn’t won a tournament since he secured his 11th title in 2010 in Washington. AP
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