Sports

Nadal beats Monaco in straight sets in Argentina to win 1st title in nearly 9 months

  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns the ball to Juan Monaco of Argentina during their ATP Argentina Open final tennis match in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, March 1, 2015. Nadal defeated Monaco and won the open. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

    Rafael Nadal, of Spain, returns the ball to Juan Monaco of Argentina during their ATP Argentina Open final tennis match in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, March 1, 2015. Nadal defeated Monaco and won the open. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)  (The Associated Press)

  • Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning the final tennis match at the ATP Argentina Open against Juan Monaco of Argentina in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, March 1, 2015. Nadal won 6-4, 6-1. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

    Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates winning the final tennis match at the ATP Argentina Open against Juan Monaco of Argentina in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, March 1, 2015. Nadal won 6-4, 6-1. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)  (The Associated Press)

  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, lifts his trophy after winning the final tennis match at the ATP Argentina Open against Juan Monaco, of Argentina, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, March 1, 2015. Nadal won 6-4, 6-1. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

    Rafael Nadal, of Spain, lifts his trophy after winning the final tennis match at the ATP Argentina Open against Juan Monaco, of Argentina, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sunday, March 1, 2015. Nadal won 6-4, 6-1. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)  (The Associated Press)

Rafael Nadal lifted his first title in nearly nine months Sunday after defeating Juan Monaco 6-4, 6-1 at the Argentina Open.

The top-seeded Spaniard hadn't reached a final since winning at Roland Garros last year.

It was Nadal's 46th title on clay, moving him within three of the record set by Argentine Guillermo Vilas when he played in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Nadal broke Monaco's serve late in the first set to take a 1-0 lead against the 60th-ranked Argentine, then dominated the second to close out the match in 1 hour, 26 minutes.

Rain in Buenos Aires delayed the start of the match and caused its interruption at 1-1 in the first set.

Nadal, who had to deal with injuries in recent months, now has 65 singles titles.