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Tennis: Nadal proves his form with masterful Rio win

Published on Feb 24, 2014 6:58 AM
Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning the 2014 Rio Open men's singles final tennis match against Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Feb 23, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - World number one Rafael Nadal shrugged off the injury concerns that wrecked his Australian Open bid as he dismantled Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-6 to win the Rio Open on Sunday.

The 13-time Grand Slam winner showed no evidence of the back injury that hampered him in Melbourne as he wrapped up his 48th ATP title against an opponent with no answer to the relentless pressure exerted by the Spanish clay-court legend.

And by winning a 43rd career clay court title, the 27-year-old threw down a gauntlet to pretenders to his French Open crowd which he defends in Paris in May.

Nadal went into the match with a 4-0 winning record against Dolgopolov with the Ukrainian never having even broken the world number one's service.

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