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Rafael Nadal Defeats David Nalbandian to Win Brazil Open 2013 Title

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 28:  Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts during his Gentlemen's Singles second round match against Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic on day four of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 28, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images
Pete SchauerCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2013

Rafael Nadal conquered David Nalbandian 6-2, 6-3, to win the 2013 Brazil Open on Sunday, making it his first title since returning from a partially torn patella tendon in his left knee (h/t Sky Sports). 

It almost seems that Nadal's seven months away from the game of tennis was a brilliant ploy all along.

Nadal made it to the final by defeating Argentine Martin Alund, 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-1, before facing former No. 3 player Nalbandian.

Nalbandian entered the finals seeking his 12th title, as he hadn't been in a final since June 2012, when he kicked an advertising board and injured a judge in the process (via the Daily Mail).

Sunday's match lasted for an hour and 18 minutes, and the 26-year-old Nadal was able to rally in the second set and win six straight games to earn his first title since the French Open in June 2012.

It's surely an impressive comeback from one of the tennis greats, but this isn't the first time Rafa has taken a hiatus from the game to come back better and stronger.

After taking a slight break back in 2009, Nadal won three straight French Opens as well as Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2010.

Rafa admitted that the level of competition at the Brazil Open isn't the best he's seen, but it was an important one to get his feet back under him.

Prior to his injury, Nadal was on top of the tennis world, boasting 50 singles titles and establishing himself as a lethal competitor, especially on clay.

Now that Rafa appears to be back and healthy, we'll likely see him rivaling Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and David Ferrer for tops in the men's rankings, which is definitely a good thing for tennis.

 

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