Rafael Nadal of Spain beat David Nalbandian of Argentina 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the Brazil Open, his first title in two tournaments since returning from a seven-month layoff caused by a left-knee injury and stomach virus.

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Nadal takes Brazil Open title

The previous time Rafael Nadal won in Brazil, it was at the start of the most dominant clay-court career in tennis history.

Eight years later, the Spaniard hopes his second title in Sao Paulo will mark the restart.

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Nadal beat David Nalbandian of Argentina 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the Brazil Open on Sunday, his first trophy in two tournaments since returning from a seven-month layoff caused by a left-knee injury and stomach virus. Nadal, 26, has won 51 singles titles.

Nadal’s second career title was the 2005 Brazil Open and he proceeded to win first of his seven French Open titles months later.

Nadal, who has won 11 major singles titles, said, “Big things started to happen after I won here in 2005, and hopefully this is the start of something good again.”

Raonic wins again in San Jose

Canadian Milos Raonic won his third consecutive SAP Open, beating Tommy Haas of Germany 6-4, 6-3 for the title in the final year of the San Jose, Calif., tournament.

Raonic, 22, is 12-0 and has not lost a set in the SAP Open. He became the first player in the Open era, which began in 1968, to win this tournament three straight times and first overall since Tony Trabert did it from 1953 to 1955.

The San Jose tournament that dates to 1889 is being moved to Memphis, Tenn., next year after the owners of the two events sold the higher-profile Memphis tournament to a group from Brazil.

Raonic joked about a plan to “roll up the court, put it in my bag and hopefully it doesn’t get lost on a flight.”

Azarenka defeats Williams

Defending champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus beat Serena Williams 7-6 (8-6), 2-6, 6-3 to win the Qatar Open in Doha, earning her 16th WTA Tour title and ending a 10-match losing streak against the American.

Azarenka will give up the No. 1 world ranking to the second-ranked Williams on Monday.

Del Potro wins in Netherlands

Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina beat Julien Benneteau of France 7-6 (7-2), 6-3 to win the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands.


Donovan plans March return

Los Angeles Galaxy captain Landon Donovan, who was strongly considering retirement, will return to training with the two-time defending Major League Soccer champions in late March, ending a self-imposed sabbatical to deal with physical and mental burnout.

But the 30-year-old Donovan’s return won’t come until after the U.S. national team’s World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico next month. He is expected to return to the Galaxy lineup in late April; the team opens its MLS season at home March 3 against Chicago.

FA Cup runneth over with goals

Chelsea, Manchester City and Wigan of the English Premier League scored four times each to knock out lower-league opponents and reach the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.

Held to a 2-2 draw by third-tier Brentford three weeks earlier, Chelsea won the fourth-round replay 4-0.

Manchester City defeated second-tier Leeds 4-0 and Wigan beat second-tier Huddersfield 4-1.

Track and field

Agent cancels Pistorius’ races

Oscar Pistorius’ career was put on hold indefinitely because of his murder charge, reinforcing the possibility the double-amputee Olympian from South Africa might never run again competitively on his famous carbon fiber blades.

Pistorius’ agent, Peet van Zyl, was forced to cancel all future races, he said, so Pistorius could concentrate on defending himself against allegations he murdered his girlfriend by shooting her several times Feb. 14.

Reeva Steenkamp, 29, died from gunshot wounds suffered inside Pistorius’ home, authorities said. Pistorius, 26, was arrested and charged with her murder the same day. His family denies he murdered Steenkamp.


• Overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria won the men’s slalom on the last day of the skiing world championships in Schladming, Austria, Hirscher overcame the pressure of expectation to earn the host nation its second gold of the worlds, after the mixed-team event.

Hirscher had a two-run time of 1 minute, 51.03 seconds. Felix Neureuther of Germany was 0.41 seconds back in second place.

Ted Ligety of Park City, Utah, who won three gold medals at worlds, failed to finish his first run. Will Brandenburg of Spokane also didn’t complete his first run.

• The United States will host the next skiing world championships in Colorado in 2015, with all medal events in Beaver Creek. Vail, Colo., will host the team event and qualifying races.

• Dutch speedskater Sven Kramer has become the first man to win six allround world championships. Kramer secured his sixth victory by taking the 10,000-meter race in 13 minutes, 1.86 seconds in Hamar, Norway.

Ken Clark, who rushed for 3,037 yards in three college seasons at Nebraska and also played for the NFL Indianapolis Colts, died Saturday in Minneapolis, reportedly of a heart attack. He was 46.

Shakin It Up won the Grade II San Vicente Stakes by a length over Treasury Bill to give Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his eighth victory in the sprint for 3-year-olds at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.

Former Mount Vernon resident Mike Pegram is a co-owner of Shakin It Up, who was ridden by David Flores and covered 7 furlongs in 1 minute, 22.48 seconds.

The colt returned $6.40 on a $2 win bet in the $150,250 race. Belvin, favored at 9-5, was last of six.

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