Tennis: El Matador back to winning ways on clay

The Brazil Open was Rafael Nadal's first title since winning the French Open for the seventh time last June. Photo / AP
The Brazil Open was Rafael Nadal's first title since winning the French Open for the seventh time last June. Photo / AP

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

Nadal, the Matador, thrust his arms into the air after clinching the indoor claycourt tournament for the second time. The Spaniard also won the event in 2005. It was Nadal's 51st singles title, and first since winning the French Open for the seventh time last June.

In Rotterdam, Juan Martin Del Potro beat Julien Benneteau 7-6 6-3 to win the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, going one better than his runner-up spot last year. Benneteau managed what no other player at the tournament achieved, breaking Del Potro's service twice in the first set, but always struggled to hold his own service against the big-hitting Argentine and crumbled in the second set. Benneteau, who beat No2-ranked Roger Federer in the quarter-finals, is now 0-8 in ATP finals.

Meanwhile, top seed Victoria Azarenka retained her Qatar Open WTA title on Sunday with a 7-6 2-6 6-3 win over Serena Williams. Her win was only her second in 13 career meetings with the American.

- NZ Herald

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