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Nadal wins doubles debut at Brazil Open


Spain’s Rafael Nadal, left, and Argentina’s David Nalbandian speak during a Brazil Open ATP tournament tennis doubles match against Spain’s Pablo Andujar and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, unseen in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. AP/Andre Penner

SAO PAULO — Rafael Nadal won his doubles opener Tuesday at the Brazil Open, his second tournament after a long injury layoff.

Nadal teamed up with David Nalbandian of Argentina to beat Spaniards Pablo Andujar and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 3-6, 11-9.

Earlier, Fifth-seeded Thomaz Bellucci beat fellow-Brazilian Guilherme Clezar 7-6 (4), 5-7, 7-6 (1) on Tuesday in the first round of the singles.

In other first-round matches at the clay-court event, Argentina’s Guido Pella topped sixth-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy 7-6 (6), 1-6, 6-1, and eighth-seeded Albert Ramos beat Spanish compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 7-5.

Nadal and Nalbandian saved a few match points and eventually closed out their match in 1 hour, 19 minutes.

Nadal played in Chile last week for the first time after a seven-month absence with a left-knee injury, losing the singles and doubles final at the VTR Open in Vina Del Mar. He played doubles in Chile with Juan Monaco.

Nadal’s first singles match at Sao Paulo is Thursday.

Nadal, an 11-time Grand Slam winner, will play the Acapulco Open in Mexico later this month.


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