Spain's Rafael Nadal, the world No. 1, defeated Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) in the final of the inaugural Rio Open.
The 27-year-old Spaniard got a taste of victory in his first tournament since injuring his back on Jan. 26 in the Australian Open final, which he lost to Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka.
"I want to congratulate Dolgopolov for his good work and I wish the best for his country. Things have not been good in Ukraine and I hope it gets resolved soon," Nadal said after the match Sunday at the Jockey Club Brasileiro in Rio de Janeiro.
Dolgopolov said Ukraine was experiencing "serious problems" and he hoped the "peace" that had existed there when he left "a few months ago" would return.
Nadal rebounded after a rough outing in the semis against countryman Pablo Andujar and stayed focused, committing only four unforced errors in the first set.
The world No. 1 used a strong service game and solid baseline play to beat Dolgopolov, the world No. 54, who was on the attack for most of the match.
Nadal picked up 500 ranking points and took home $316,400 in prize money, while Dolgopolov earned $142,650 and 300 ranking points.
On the women's side, Japan's Kurumi Nara, the world No. 62, upset the Czech Republic's Klara Zakopalova, the world No. 32, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 in a final that went two hours and three minutes. EFE