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Nadal Shows his Class in Rio

Posted 03-03-2014 at 01:36 PM by Philip Oliver
World number one, Rafael Nadal, looks as though he will still be the man to beat in the three remaining Grand Slams of the year after beating Alexandr Dolgopolov in the final of the Rio Open to claim the 62nd tour-level title of his career.

Stanislas Wawrinka may have defied the tennis betting odds to beat Nadal in the Australian Open final in January but the Spaniard, despite being far from his best throughout the tournament, was still too powerful for his opponents in Brazil.

In what was his first tournament appearance since his surprising defeat to Wawrinka in Melbourne, Nadal battled his way through to the final where he beat Dolgopolov 6-3 7-6.

"Always when you win a title, it’s special," said Nadal afterwards. “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."

The 27-year-old Nadal had to save two match points on his way to beating Pablo Andujar in the semi-finals in Rio but had less trouble seeing off Dolgopolov in just one hour and 41 minutes.

Nadal has won 16 of his 17 matches so far this year and the tennis betting odds show that he will once again be expected to win the French Open later this year when he will be chasing his ninth success in Paris.

Nadal currently has 13 Grand Slams to his name, having also win the US Open twice (2010 and 2013), Wimbledon on two occasions (2008 and 2010) and the Australian Open once - in 2009.

He has won the French Open in eight of the last nine years with his only defeat coming in the fourth round in 2009 when he was knocked out by Robin Soderling.
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