Finally, Rafael Nadal has won the Argentina Open presentado por Buenos Aires Ciudad on Sunday. It was a huge relief for the top seed, who converted on his first match point against home favorite Juan Monaco to record his first title victory of the 2015 season. The final match was interrupted several times on account of rain and therefore the long wait for the players and the crowd became excruciating. Nadal had not won a single tournament since the Roland Garros 9 months ago and he was plagued with one personal problem after another for most part of the 2014 season. It was a bad start anyway, when the then world no.1, suffered from stomach cramps in the title clash against Stan Wawrinka at 2014 Australian Open. Though he won the French Open, he suffered from appendicitis afterwards and had to miss several competitions. Therefore for the former world champion, the victory at Buenos Aires would have brought a flood of relief and it should serve as a big morale booster for the Spaniard. He admitted later that though all titles were special the Buenos Aires victory made him happier because it had come after a long time. In the men’s doubles final of the Argentina Open, the Finnish-Brazilian pair of Jarkko Nieminen and Andre Sa worked hard in a three-set contest before clinching the title in the match tiebreak after set scores finished level.
Rafael Nadal was playing his tennis career’s 93rd tour-level final that ended with the 65th title crown for him. With this, the Spaniard broke a tie with two tennis greats; Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg. He is now placed at no.5 behind John McEnroe, who has 77 titles to his name. Topping the all-time list is the American Jimmy Connors with an amazingly high number of 109 tour-level titles. The next two behind Connors are Ivan Lendl, 94 and Roger Federer, 84.
In the rain-affected final match on Sunday, the 28-year-old Nadal needed one hour and 27 minutes before winning 6-4, 6-1 against his close friend Juan Monaco of Argentina. Nadal converted four break-point opportunities out of 9 that he created against Monaco. In the entire match, he didn’t face a single break point on his own service. The first break came in the seventh game and he led 4-3 and afterwards he won 8 out of the next 10 games. In between rain halted the match a few times but when the play finally resumed, Nadal converted on the first match point that he earned. The packed crowd at Buenos Aires also included past greats like Guillermo Vilas, Guillermo Coria, David Nalbandian and Gaston Gaudio.
It was Nadal’s first appearance at Buenos Aires in 10 years and the title added to his earlier victories in Latin America’s Golden Swing tournaments, where he won Acapulco in 2005 and 2013, Sao Paulo in 2005 and 2013 and Rio de Janeiro in 2014. Nadal’s win also marked it as the seventh consecutive time that a Spaniard has won at this venue beginning with Tommy Robredo in 2009, Ferrero in 2010, Almagro in 2011, and Ferrer in 2012, 2013 & 2014.
In the men’s doubles, Jarkko Nieminen of Finland and Andre Sa of Brazil faced Pablo Andujar of Spain and Oliver Marach of Austria for the title clash. After squaring the set scores, the Finnish/Brazilian pair prevailed in the match tiebreak to beat Andujar/Marach 4-6, 6-4, 10-7 in 1 hour 31 minutes. It was the pair’s first week as a team and they had a dream start by clinching the title after staving off eight out of eleven break points against them.