Rafael Nadal capped off his long-awaited return to ATP courts with a straight sets final victory over Nalbandian at Brasilian Open 2013 in Sao Paulo.
Unseeded Argentine David Nalbandian, the former number 3, did not stand much of a chance against very inspired Rafa Nadal who thus claimed his 51st ATP title, the first one after defeating Djokovic in the last year’s Roland Garros final. This was the second tournament the former number one Spaniard has played since his recent return to the world of ATP tennis. He might have lost the last week’s final in Vina del Mar, but was near to his best again in Sao Paulo and conquered the Brasil Open for the second time after 2005.
The opening set was equal for the first five games in which no break points were generated. Nadal then shifted into a higher gear in the second half of the set and stole his challenger’s serve to obtain a 4-2 lead. Nalbandian produced one re-break point in the follow-up game, yet the Spaniard consolidated the break and added another one to close down the opener.
The early stages of the set number two were rather insecure from Nadal’s point of view as he conceded two losses of serve by 0-3, but pulled off a stunning comeback that bailed him out of trouble. Nalbandian did not manage to confirm his second break and was a mere spectator from then on as Rafa stormed past him with a six straight games run. Nadal was serving for his 37th clay-court career trophy at 5-3 and did not waste his first championship point since Roland Garros 2012. He could start celebrating after a 6-2, 6-3 victory and is now leading head-to-head series against Naldbandian 5-2.