Zeballos surprises Nadal to win Chilean Open

VINA DEL MAR, Chile Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:26am IST

Spain's Rafael Nadal serves to Argentina's Horacio Zeballos during the men's singles final match at the Chilean Open tennis tournament in Vina del Mar February 10, 2013. REUTERS/Eliseo Fernandez

Spain's Rafael Nadal serves to Argentina's Horacio Zeballos during the men's singles final match at the Chilean Open tennis tournament in Vina del Mar February 10, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Eliseo Fernandez

VINA DEL MAR, Chile (Reuters) - Argentine Horacio Zeballos sprung a major surprise by beating Rafa Nadal 6-7 7-6 6-4 to win the Chilean Open on Sunday and clinch the first title of his career.

World number 73 Zeballos held his nerve in the final set, breaking Nadal when he was serving to stay in the match to seal victory after almost three hours in the Pacific coast city of Vina del March

"I'm shocked. I've beaten one of the best players of tennis history. It's an incredible sensation," an emotional Zeballos said.

"I still think I'm dreaming. It's an honour playing against him. I enjoyed being with him at the locker room, eating with him. He's a great guy, I would like to ask him if he's from this planet," the Argentine added with a big smile.

Nadal was playing his first tournament since suffering a shock defeat to the unfancied Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon last June, having been sidelined by a troublesome knee injury and his comeback delayed by illness.

He will continue continue playing on his favorite clay surface at two other Latin American events this month.

The French Open champion heads to the Brazil Open in Sao Paulo next week and the Mexico Open in Acapulco from February 25.

"Although I didn't make it (to win the tournament), for me it is a huge achievement playing all the week," Nadal said when he received his runnerup trophy.

The 27-year-old Zeballos was competitive from the outset, but failed to exploit two break-points in the first set to allow Nadal a tiebreak, which the Spaniard comfortably wrapped up 7-2.

Zeballos hit back to win the second set tiebreak 8-6 and showed great poise to level at 1-1 in the decider after being broken in the first game.

Nadal struggled with his serve and was a shadow of the fired-up, fist-pumping competitor that has clinched 11 grand slam titles as he tired late in the match and lost key points without showing much emotion.

Local fans were won over by the Spaniard, who was gracious in defeat, however, and thanked the crowd for the support.

"This is one of the best weeks of the last months. I want to thank you all," he said. (Writing by Javier Leira in Santiago; Editing by Ian Ransom)

Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Australian Open

Reuters Showcase

Facebook Earnings

Facebook Earnings

Facebook tops Wall Street revenue target in 4th quarter.  Full Article 

Japanese Hostage

Japanese Hostage

Islamic State said to set new deadline for hostage swap  Full Article 

Cricket World Cup

Cricket World Cup

Batting holds key for team India in World Cup  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Sharapova eases into fourth Melbourne final  Full Article 

Photo

Laser Pioneer Dies

Laser's co-inventor, Nobel laureate Charles Townes, dead at 99  Full Article 

Rohingya Muslims

Rohingya Muslims

Rohingya refugees say traffickers in Malaysia abuse and kill.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage