Nadal victorious in Brazil

  • Last Updated: February 24 2014, 10:38 GMT

Rafael Nadal claimed the ATP Rio Open 500 title on Sunday with a straight-sets win over Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Nadal with his trophy in Rio
Nadal with his trophy in Rio

The world number one took a routine first set but was then made to battle by the unseeded Ukrainian and needed a tie break to take the second and seal a 6-3 7-6 (7/3) victory.

The Spaniard was serving for the match at 5-4 in the second when Dolgopolov broke back to set up a tense finish but Nadal's class told as he claimed his 62nd ATP tour title.

Nadal, who has never lost a tournament in Brazil, is now just two wins short of Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg on the all-time list.

"Always when you win a title, it's special," Nadal told atpworldtour.com. "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 saved two match points to overcome countryman Pablo Andujar in Saturday's semi-final.

He improved to a perfect 5-0 ATP head-to-head record over Dolgopolov, claiming victory in one hour and 41 minutes.

"Yesterday was a tough match," Nadal added. "Pablo played a great match, playing very aggressive. I played too short yesterday and I gave him the chance to have control of the point from inside.

"I'm not very happy with the way I played yesterday, but I think today I was able to play with a little bit more calm, play a little bit longer and go a little bit more for the points. I played a more solid match today."


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