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» Nadal sets up final with Nalbandian
Nadal sets up final with Nalbandian
Rafael Nadal fought off a determined Martin Alund 6-3 6-7 (7-2) 6-1 to reach the final of the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo on Saturday.
The Spaniard, who will now play in his second consecutive final since returning from a long injury layoff, took the first set with ease against his unheralded opponent before Alund fought back spectacularly in the second.
The world number 111 hit five aces and lost just one point on his first serve as he won the second set in a tie-breaker to raise the possibility of an upset.
But Nadal regained control, brushing aside the Argentine 6-1 in the decider to move into Sunday's final where he will face veteran David Nalbandian after he beat Italian Simone Bolelli 6-3 7-5 in the other semi-final.
Nalbandian, who partnered Nadal in doubles earlier in the week, managed 11 aces in the win with Bolelli unable to match the 31-year-old's exploits, hitting five double faults and failing to save any of the five break points he faced.
Sunday's title decider will give Nadal the opportunity to bounce back from his shock loss to Horacio Zeballos in the final of the Chile Open last week, while Nalbandian will hope the match erases memories of his most recent tour final at the Queen's Club last year where he was disqualified for injuring a line judge.
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