Brazil Open: Rafael Nadal struggles in semi-final win

Feb 18, 2013, 09:37 IST | AFP

Rafael Nadal struggled into the Brazil Open final yesterday by downing Argentine lucky loser Martin Alund in three sets and later said he was handicapped by nagging knee pain

The former World No 1, who is recovering from a left knee injury, battled hard to dismiss his 27-year-old opponent, who is ranked 111 in the world, winning 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-1 in nearly two hours.

Rafael Nadal

The final will pit the 26-year-old Spanish star against Argentine David Nalbandian.

At a post-match press conference, Nadal said that while he was physically prepared for the final, “my knee is not”.

“I don’t think I am the favorite at all. The conditions are much more favorable for David (Nalbandian),” he said. “I still have discomfort. Today the knee did not respond well. And in those circumstances, not being able to move well, to attack the ball, it will be very difficult. I am going to do what I can... But I think it is going to be a very complicated match for me,” he added.

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