sport

Nadal clinches Rio title

World number one Rafael Nadal proved his return to fitness as he beat Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3 7-6 to clinch the Rio Open title.

Nadal, playing in his first tournament since hurting his back while losing to Stanislas Wawrinka at the Australian Open, needed one hour and 43 minutes to see off his Ukrainian opponent at the Brazilian claycourt event.

The Spaniard had come from a set down and saved two match points during his semi-final win over Pablo Andujar but enjoyed a far more comfortable time of it against world number 54 Dolgopolov.

Nadal broke in the fourth game of the opening set and then saved three break points on his own delivery on the way to closing out the set.

Dolgopolov dropped serve again early in the second set but fought back to level at 5-5 and eventually took it to a tie-break, which Nadal won 7-4 to clinch his second title in three starts this season.