Nadal victorious in Brazil
6:53am Monday 24th February 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Rafael Nadal claimed the ATP Rio Open 500 title on Sunday with a straight-sets win over Alexandr Dolgopolov.
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."