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And NOW he's back: Rafa earns first title since return

It's been seven months in the shadows. Seven months of waiting. Seven months of "will Rafa ever return?" Finally, the tennis world has its answer to the question "Can Rafa still win?" The answer is finally...yes.

This weekend at the Brazil Open in Sao Paulo, Rafael Nadal won more than $80,000 in his first singles victory since falling victim to a knee injury in the middle of 2012. Two weekends ago, Nadal threatened to win the VTR Open in Vina del Mar, Chile. In the end, he had to be satisfied with a runner-up finish.

Yesterday, Nadal--still affected some by his injury--pulled off a victory over David Nalbandian in a two-set final. This marked Nadal's 51st victory. Eight years ago at age 18, Nadal won the same tournament and proceeded to embark on a still-young legendary career.

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Rafa earlier in a warm-up match with some PokerStars fans

As we've mentioned a few times here, Rafa has recently enjoyed some time on the digital felt after signing up as an ambassador for PokerStars. It's only been a few weeks since he won his very first poker tournament.

Now both Rafa and the tennis world wait to see what he'll do next. After all, the French Open is just a few months away...

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Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging

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