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Nadal bests del Potro at Indian Wells

March 17, 2013 at 9:02 PM

INDIAN WELLS, Calif., March 17 (UPI) -- Fifth-seeded Rafael Nadal of Spain won the BNP Paribas Open Sunday by defeating seventh-seeded Argentine Juan Martin del Potro in three sets.

Nadal bested del Potro 4-6 6-3 6-4 for his third title since returning from a eight-month absence due to a sore left knee.

The 11-time Grand Slam champion notched his 53rd career win and first on a hard court since the 2010 U.S. Open.

His Indian Wells triumph -- which marked his 600th career match win -- came after earlier clay-court titles in Brazil and Mexico following his injury layoff.

Nadal improved to 17-1 for the best start of his career and has reeled off 14 straight wins.

It was an emotional victory for Nadal, who celebrated by falling to his knees by the net after shaking hands with his opponent.

Del Potro had defeated Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic en route to the Indian Wells final.

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