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Nadal wins 67th career title

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 02-08-2015 skysports.com
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Rafa Nadal beat Fabio Fognini in straight sets to win his 67th career title on Sunday at the Hamburg Open. 

The 7-5 7-5 win means Nadal exacted revenge on Fognini, who was aiming to become the first man to beat Nadal three times on the clay in one season after victories in Rio de Janeiro and Barcelona.

Fognini, the champion of Hamburg in 2013, put up a strong fight against the top seed and broke serve in an epic first game which lasted over 12 minutes.

Four breaks of serve later, Nadal finally held to take a 3-2 lead. The Spaniard then went on to take the opening set in 77 minutes.

Nadal broke Fognini in the second set to take a 3-1 lead but the eighth seed maintained the pressure and got the break back straight away.

There were then three consecutive breaks of serve meaning Nadal had to save set point to stop the match going to a decider. Nadal then broke once again, forcing Fognini to hold serve to make the set go to a tie-break.

But he couldn't stop the 14-time Grand Slam champion from prevailing, with Nadal taking full advantage of his first match point.

"It was a great match, many great points, many breaks, we fought hard," Nadal said. "I had many ups and downs.

"It's an important title for me."

World No 10 Nadal has been beset by all kinds of problems with his form in a disappointing season, but has now extended his streak of claiming at least one European clay-court title every year since 2004.

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