Rafael Nadal wins first trophy after seven-month layoff
Sao Paolo, Brazil (4E Sports) – Days after returning from a seven-month layoff due to injury, top seed Rafael Nadal immediately made his presence felt by winning his 37th clay-court title Sunday after beating David Nalbandian, 6-2, 6-3, in the final of the Brasil Open 2013.
The win marks Nadal’s first trophy since winning at Roland Garros in June 2012. He returned last week by reaching the singles and doubles finals at the VTR Open in Vina del Mar.
The 26-year-old Nadal won his first indoor clay-court tournament as he improved to a 51-22 record in tour-level finals. The left-hander received 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $82,300 in prize money.
This was the second time that Nadal won the event. On his only previous appearance in 2005, he beat Alberto Martin for the title.
Against former World No. 3 Nalbandian, Nadal captured four straight games from 2-2 to take the opening set.
Then, Nadal rallied from a 0-2 deficit in the second set to win six of the last seven games and claim victory in 78 minutes.
He improved to 5-2 against Nalbandian in their head-to-head showdown.
Meanwhile, world No. 7 Juan Martin del Potro captured his 14th tour-level title as he defeated Julien Benneteau, 7-6(2), 6-3, in the final of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
“It’s amazing. I’m so happy to win this tournament,” said del Potro, who became the second Argentine to win in Rotterdam since Guillermo Vilas in 1982.
With the win, Del Potro received 500 Emirates ATP Rankings points and 305,000 euros in prize money.
The loss, for his part, prevented Benneteau from winning his first title in his eighth final stint.
On the women’s side, outgoing world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka made a huge statement by beating incoming top-ranked player Serena Williams, 7-6(6), 2-6, 6-3, in the final of the Qatar Total Open.
With the victory, Azarenka snapped a nine-match losing streak against Williams, who committed 48 unforced errors.