SAO PAULO, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal clinched his first tournament victory since returning from a seven-month layoff, by defeating Argentina's David Nalbandian 6-2, 6-3 in the final of the Brazil Open on Sunday.
Trailing 3-0 in the second set, Nadal rallied to win six consecutive games and defeat Nalbandian in one hour and 18 minutes in the indoor clay-court event.
It was the Spaniard's second Brazil Open triumph, having won the tournament as an 18-year-old in 2005.
Despite its relatively modest status as an ATP 250 event, Nadal pumped his fist in the air in jubilation upon securing his 51st singles title at the Ibirapuera arena.
"Brazil will always be in my heart," the 11-time grand slam winner said. "Big things started to happen after I won here in 2005 and hopefully this is the start of something good again."
The tournament was Nadal's second event since suffering a left knee injury during his second-round Wimbledon defeat to Czech Lukas Rosol in June last year.
He returned to play the Chile Open last week, losing to world No.73 Horacio Zeballos in the final.
The 26-year-old admitted he was yet to reach full match fitness, but said victory in Brazil gave him hope the worst was behind him.
"When the knee is feeling better like today I feel like that I can do more of the things that I used to do," he said. "If the pain is bearable, then it's fine."
Nalbandian, playing in his first final since being disqualified for kicking an advertising sign and injuring a line judge at Queen's Club last June, conceded he had been outplayed by Nadal.
"I didn't play my best match today, Rafa was much better," Nalbandian said. "I was ahead in the second set but I couldn't take advantage of it."