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Nadal is back with Brazil Open victory

Feb. 17, 2013 at 2:25 PM

SAO PAULO, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal recorded his first victory since last year's French Open Sunday, besting David Nalbandian for the Brazil Open title.

Nadal, who had been sidelined for seven months while recuperating from a knee injury, came close to pulling out a victory last week in Vina del Mar in his return from the layoff, but fell to Horacio Zeballos in the final.

This week in Sao Paolo, however, the Spanish superstar proved he's all the way back from the injury, dispatching is Argentinian opponent 6-2, 6-3 for his 51st career title.

It marked the second time Nadal won in Brazil, but his first since 2005.

It was also his 37th career championship on clay surfaces, behind only Thomas Muster (40) and Guillermo Vilas (45) on the all-time list.

Nalbandian, meanwhile, fell to 11-13 all-time in finals and 2-5 against Nadal in his first meeting with him since 2007.

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