Nadal Beats Juan Monaco to Win First Title in Nearly Nine Months

Rafael Nadal is back in title-winning form…

The 28-year-old Spanish tennis star lifted his first championship trophy in nearly nine months Sunday after defeating Juan Monaco 6-4, 6-1 at the Argentina Open.

Rafael Nadal

Nadal, the tournament’s top seed, Spaniard hadn’t reached a final since winning the French Open last year.

It was Nadal’s 46th title on clay, tying him with Guillermo Vilas for the most titles on the sandy surface in the Open Era.

It was Nadal’s 65th career crown on all surfaces, moving him into sole possession of fifth place on the Open Era all-time list led by the 109 titles of American Jimmy Connors.

Nadal broke Monaco’s serve late in the first set to take a 1-0 lead against the 60th-ranked Argentine, then dominated the second to close out the match in 1 hour, 26 minutes.

Rain in Buenos Aires delayed the start of the match and caused its interruption at 1-1 in the first set.

Nadal, who had to deal with injuries in recent months, now has 65 singles titles.

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