Nadal defeats del Potro to Win BNP Paribas Open Title…

Rafael Nadal has extended his career wins record to 600…

The 26-year-old Spanish tennis star rallied from a set and 1-3 down in the second to beat Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro in the BNP Paribas Open final 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday, capping an amazing six-month run since he ended his seven-month injury-related hiatus in February.

Rafael Nadal

“Seriously, it’s impossible to have better comeback, no?” he said, smiling. “Happy for everything.”

It’s Nadal’s third title in four tournaments since coming back from a serious knee injury and his first on hard courts since October 2010.

With the win, he improved to a career-best 17-1 start this year, including 14 straight match wins.

“That’s makes emotional week for me,” he said. “Very important victory for me, winning against the best players of the world on a surface that is good for them.”

Rafael Nadal

Nadal will move to No. 4 in the rankings released Monday. He broke a tie with Roger Federer with his record 22nd career ATP Tour Masters 1000 title while earning $1 million for his third Indian Wells title.

“When you have one comeback like I’m having you remember all the low things, lower moments that you had during this seven months, doubts and all these things,” he said. “The doubt when and where you will be able to be back on a tennis tournament is hard.”

Nadal defeated Federer in straight sets in the quarterfinals, then beat Tomas Berdych in two sets in the semis.

del Potro came up short in his bid to defeat three Top-10 players in the same tournament for the second time in his career. He defeated No. 3 Andy Murray and No. 1 Novak Djokovic in three sets apiece in becoming the second Argentine since Guillermo Villas in 1977 to reach the final here.

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