Nadal Wins 1st Title Since Knee Injury

As Serena Williams is bounced from Qatar Open

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Feb 17, 2013 12:31 PM CST

(Newser) – Rafael Nadal beat David Nalbandian 6-2, 6-3 in the Brazil Open final today, 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. 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. The 93rd-ranked Nalbandian made his first appearance in a final since he was disqualified for kicking an ad board and injuring a line judge last June. The 26-year-old Nadal, currently No. 5 in the world, is recovering from a torn and inflamed tendon in his knee. Meanwhile, Victoria Azarenka bounced Serena Williams out of the Qatar Open, reports the AP.

Argentina's David Nalbandian returns the ball to Spain's Rafael Nadal during the Brazil Open ATP tournament final match in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.   (Andre Penner)
Spain's Rafael Nadal serves to Argentina's David Nalbandian during the Brazil Open ATP tournament final match in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.   (Andre Penner)
Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Argentina's David Nalbandian during the Brazil Open ATP tournament final match in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013.   (Andre Penner)
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