Monday, February 18, 2013

Nadal and del Potro Win First Titles of 2013

AP Photo
It's back to the winners circle for World No. 5 Rafael Nadal, who is playing in only his second tournament after a 7-month absence due to a left knee injury. Nadal won the Brasil Open in straight sets (6-2, 6-3) over David Nalbandian of Argentina to win his first title of 2013 and 51st of his career. It was a sweet victory for Nadal who was stunned last week in the final of the VTR Open in Chile by Horacio Zeballos of Argentina.  The tournament in Chile was the first for Nadal in his latest comeback tour and it ended in disappointment with his final's loss to the unknown Argentine. Next up for Nadal-- a clay court event in Acapulco, Mexico in two weeks. 

Also back in the winners circle is World No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina who won his first title of 2013 at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. Del Potro defeated Julien Benneteau of France 7-6, 6-3 in the final to capture his 14th career title. In earlier rounds, Benneteau stunned defending tournament champion and World No. 2 Roger Federer in the quarterfinals for perhaps the biggest win of his career.

AP Photo

On the women's circuit--

AP Photo

Congrats to Serena Williams who regained the World No. 1 ranking for the 6th time in her career. Serena lost in the final of the Qatar Open to current World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, who successfully defended her title in DOHA, Qatar. You may ask, why is Azarenka losing her No. 1 ranking to Serena if she beat her to win the title? The way the complicated computer rankings go, by reaching (at least) the semifinals, Serena (ranked No. 2) gained enough ranking points to catch and surpass Azarenka, who, as the defending champion, gained no points from the tournament. All Azarenka could do is defend her points total from last year's title (which she did) and not lose any ground. In other words, she began the tournament with 10,325 ranking points and finished the tournament with 10,325 ranking points. Serena began the tournament with 9,970 points and gained 620 for a total of 10,590 and the No. 1 ranking.  

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