RAFAEL Nadal continued his superb form since returning to tennis earlier this year by defeating Stanislas Wawrinka in the Mutua Madrid Open final to lift his fifth title of 2013.
Playing in his seventh final in as many tournaments after making his comeback from a lengthy injury lay-off in February, Nadal was simply too good for Wawrinka as he claimed a 6-2 6-4 victory in 71 minutes.
The triumph was Nadal’s third at the Madrid Open and 55th overall of his career,.
Fifth seed Nadal raced into a 4-0 and 5-1 lead at the outset, winning two of his seven break points while not allowing Wawrinka any chance to hit back, before the Spaniard served out at 5-2, winning the set with an ace in just 31 minutes.
Wawrinka, the 15th seed, tried to battle back in the second but again could not create any break points on the Nadal serve and it was only a matter of time before the home favourite finished things off, which he did after breaking in the seventh game.
In the women’s final earlier, Serena Williams retained her Mutua Madrid Open title and No 1 spot in the rankings with a straight-sets victory over Maria Sharapova.
Williams needed just one hour and 18 minutes to see off Sharapova, the American winning 6-1 6-4.
The victory improved the 31-year-old’s impressive record against Sharapova to 13 wins from 15 matches, and ensured the Russian could not claim top spot in the WTA rankings.