Rafael Nadal has made history, by winning the inaugural Rio Open. The Spaniard defeated Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-6 to win his 43rd title on clay.
The Spaniard is known for his masterful play on clay, and yesterday was no different. Nadal won the first with relative ease.
But Dolgopolov, who defeated number 2 seed David Ferrer, wasn't going down without a fight. The Ukrainian challenged Nadal in the second set, taking the Spaniard to his second tie-break in two days, before losing 7-3.
"Always when you win a title, it’s special," said Nadal. "In a 500 tournament, you don’t have a chance to play a lot of these in the calendar. The first edition of a big tournament like Rio, it’s a very important city in the world, and after coming back from injury, it always makes the victory a little more special."
Nadal had a relatively straightforward passage through the tournament, defeating Daniel Gimeno Traver, Albert Montanes and Joao Sosa in the first three rounds.
He was given a brief scare by Pablo Andujar in the semi-finals, who won the first set before losing a third set tie-break.
The World No 1 had been struggling with a back injury since his Australian open defeat to Stanislas Wawrinka, but has still managed to win his second title of the season, after his win at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open early this year.
Nadal will now be preparing for the BNP Paribas Open in America, which he won last year.
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