Nadal to face Nalbandian in Brazil Open final

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Sao Paulo, Feb 17 (IANS) Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal advanced to the final of the Brazil Open with a 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-1 victory over Argentina's Martin Alund.

Sunday's title decider against Argentina's David Nalbandian will be the Spaniard's second straight final since returning from a seven-month layoff with a knee problem, reports Xinhua.

In his first tournament back from injury last week, the 11-time Grand Slam winner lost to World No.73 Horacio Zeballos in the Chile Open final.

Earlier, Nalbandian said he was confident of clinching his first ATP title since 2010 against Nadal.

The former World No. 3 progressed to the final of the indoor clay-court event after defeating Italy's Simone Bolelli 6-3, 7-5.

"I am feeling better as the week goes on with each match and with that my confidence has grown," the current World No.93 said Saturday.

"Physically I'm feeling very good. I have played two matches that have gone to three sets but the points have been short and for that reason I haven't felt any negative effects," he said.

Sunday's duel will be Nalbandian's first final since being disqualified for kicking an advertising sign and injuring a line judge at Queen's Club in London last June.

The 31-year-old said controversy surrounding the Brazil Open's playing surface and balls would have no impact on the final.

"Rafa (Nadal) is a tough opponent on any surface but here the conditions have been tough for everybody. It's hard to know who will have the advantage with the balls that are being used," Nalbandian said.