By James Crook

rafanadalbrazilFebruary 17 - Former world number one Rafael Nadal showed glimpses of the form which led him to 11 Grand Slam-titles as he defeated Argentine David Nalbandian 6-2, 6-3, to claim his first title since returning from a seven-month injury lay-off at the Brazil Open in Sao Paulo.

Nadal sweeped aside the 31-year-old Nalbandian in just 78 minutes to claim his 37th career-title on clay, but he admitted that the knee injury which saw his career halted for over half a year has still been troubling him.

"Yesterday [during the semi-final] the knee hurt." said world number five Nadal.

"Today it's better, rather bearable."

"I am happy to win in Brazil for the second time."

After losing in the final of the Chile Open last week to relatively unknown world number 73 Horacio Zeballos, Nadal will continue his quest for full-fitness later this month, before attempting to retain his French Open title in May and take his tally of titles at Roland Garros to an unprecedented eight.

161862426Rafa Nadal claims his first title since returning from injury at the Brazil Open in Sao Paulo

The 26-year-old Spaniard will compete again on his preferred clay surface at the Mexico Open in Acapulco, which commences next Monday (February 25).

"I am going to think about Acapulco and nothing else." he said

The Mexico Open will see Nadal potentially take on higher-ranked opponents than he has at his past two tournaments, such as world number four and current holder of the tournament, compatriot David Ferrer, but he insists that he is not daunted by the prospect.

"I don't have any problem playing against better rivals because I accept that I can lose." he said

" Losing is not a problem for me,

"I just need time to continue improving and return to a more competitive level."

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