Nadal, Serena champions

Nadal, Serena champions

Nadal, Serena champions

Rafael Nadal claimed a fifth title since his return from injury when the Spanish World No 5 dismissed 15th-seeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2, 6-4 to win the Madrid Open on Sunday.

Nadal was sidelined for seven months by a knee problem and since his return in February has won the events at Sao Paulo, Acapulco, Indian Wells, Barcelona and now Madrid.

He also reached the final at Vina del Mar and Monte Carlo and Sunday’s success was his third at the Masters event in the Spanish capital.

Wawrinka, who came through gruelling matches against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych on the way to his second Masters final, never looked like claiming a first win against Nadal at the ninth attempt.

Nadal broke his serve three times in the match and did not face a single break point himself and collapsed on to his back in celebration when Wawrinka went long with a backhand to hand the Spaniard victory.

“Maybe this win is even more special given where I have come back from,” Nadal said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster La Sexta.

World No 1 Serena Williams racked up the 50th title of her illustrious 18-year career when she thumped Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-4 to defend her Madrid Open crown on Sunday.

Williams’ victory, her fourth tournament success of 2013 and only the seventh on clay since she turned pro in 1995, prevented Sharapova from leapfrogging her to the top of the rankings.

It also showed the 31-year-old American, a 15-times Grand Slam singles champion, is on red-hot form as she prepares her bid to add to her sole French Open title at Roland Garros starting later this month.  “It's not the ultimate title, but it's a good start in the right direction,” Williams, who was upset by Virginie Razzano in the first round at Roland Garros last year, told a news conference.

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