Nadal and Sharapova win Indian Wells titles

Rafael Nadal rallied from a set and 1-3 down in the second to beat Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the BNP Paribas Open final Sunday at Indian Wells, Calif., giving the Spaniard his third title in four tournaments since returning from a seven-month injury layoff.

Nadal improved to a career-best 17-1 on the year, including 14 straight match wins. He's won three titles - two on clay while runner-up in another on his favorite surface - since returning from a left knee injury.

Maria Sharapova defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-2 to win her first title of the year in the women's final between two former top-ranked players.

Indian Wells is his first hard-court title since Tokyo in October 2010, having lost in six previous finals on the surface. He won his 600th career match and will move to No. 4 in the rankings released Monday.

Nadal broke a tie with Roger Federer with his record 22nd career ATP Tour Masters 1000 title. He earned $1 million for his third Indian Wells title.

Sharapova dictated from the opening game, when she broke Wozniacki at love with groundstrokes that had the Dane running from side to side. Sharapova faced just two break points on her serve in the nearly 1 1-2-hour match.

"I always felt like I was always a foot ahead, especially with the breaks," she said. "I was able to serve well today, and that helped me."

It was Sharapova's second career title at Indian Wells, where she first won in 2006. Wozniacki won here in 2011. The women met in a final for the first time; their six other matches came in earlier rounds.

The Russian is projected to move one spot in the WTA Tour rankings to No. 2 on Monday, dropping Victoria Azarenka to third. Wozniacki will move up one spot to No. 9.

The victory, worth $1 million, gave Sharapova at least one title for 11 straight years dating to 2003.

Associated Press

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