Big things started to happen after I won here in 2005 and hopefully this is the start of something good again
Rafael Nadal is optimistic his victory in Brazil will be the “start of something good” after landing his first title since his return from injury
In only his second tournament back after seven months out with a knee injury, Nadal beat David Nalbandian 6-2 6-3 to win the Brasil Open in Sao Paolo.
The last time Nadal won in Brazil back in 2005, the Spaniard went on to win the first of his seven French Open titles.
Nadal raised fears over his fitness when he pulled out of the doubles event to rest his knee, but showed no signs of injury as he reeled off six straight games to seal victory against his doubles partner.
"Brazil will always be in my heart," Nadal said. "Big things started to happen after I won here in 2005 and hopefully this is the start of something good again."
Nadal made his comeback earlier this month at the Chile Open, where he lost to world No. 73 Horacio Zeballos in the final. While he admits he is still not back to peak fitness, Nadal is happy with his progress.
"When the knee is feeling better I feel like that I can do more of the things that I used to do," he said. "If the pain is bearable, then it's fine."