Nadal rallies to snatch Qatar title

Rafa Nadal defeats Gael Monfils in the Qatar Open in Doha to completed his 61st career ATP title.

Last updated: 04 Jan 2014 19:41
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to France's Gael Monfils during their final tennis match in Qatar [AFP]

Rafa Nadal has begun his year in perfect fashion with victory over Gael Monfils in the Qatar Open in Doha.

The Spanish world number one put down an ominous marker for the forthcoming Australian Open on Saturday, as he claimed his 61st career title in the desert city.

Monfils, who had been runner up in Doha twice before was brushed aside 6-1 in the first set. But he bounced back in the next, taking it 7-5 on a tiebreak to send it to a decider.

Nadal then completed his 61st career ATP title win by winning that decider 6-2.

Victory took Nadal past Andre Agassi into eighth spot on the all-time list of ATP Tour title winners and helped him extend his lead at the top of the rankings over Novak Djokovic who opted not to play this week.

Monfils' two career wins over Nadal had both come in Doha, in 2009 and 2012, but apart from the second set he was out-muscled by the Spaniard who moved smoothly on the hard court and was far too rugged.

Nadal had earlier survived a tough test against German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk in Doha on Friday.

The Spaniard, warming up for this month's Australian Open which he missed last year because of illness, dropped the opening set against the world No.162 before raising his game sufficiently to battle through 4-6 6-2 6-3.

Monfils beat another German, Florian Mayer, 6-3, 6-2 in the other semi-final.


Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list