Rio de Janeiro, Feb 24 IANS | 10 months ago

Rafael Nadal brushed aside his injury concerns by winning the Rio Open, beating Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-6 (3).

In his first tournament since injuring his back during his loss to Stanislas Wawrinka in the Australian Open final last month, Nadal Sunday secured his 48th ATP title on Rio's outdoor clay, reports Xinhua.

He needed just 39 minutes to take the first set but Dolgopolov emerged with renewed verve in the second, breaking the Spaniard as he served for the match.

Having taken the set to a tie-break, the Ukrainian's composure buckled with a double fault followed by an unforced error as Nadal marched to his 43rd clay-court title.

"Clearly, it was important for me to get back and win after what happened in the final in Australia," Nadal said.

The 27-year-old is already looking forward to defending his title next year and returning for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"I leave with the sensation that Brazil is something special for me," he added.

Earlier, Japan's Kurumi Nara clinched the women's title by beating top-seeded Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 4-6, 6-1.

"I love Rio. I can't believe I won the tournament but I am very happy," Nara said.

(Posted on 24-02-2014)

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