Rafael Nadal overcame Gael Monfils to capture his first title of 2014 at the Qatar Open in Doha, his maiden trophy here in five attempts, where it was Monfils himself who twice sent the Spaniard packing in previous years, but couldn’t make it a third time today.
Nadal raced through the first set while Monfils appeared to still be gathering himself, but the Frenchman led the entertaining second by a break for most of it. The Spaniard broke back, but Monfils took it in the tiebreak. Nadal broke early in the third, and didn’t look back, winning the match and the trophy: 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-2.
This is the world No. 1′s 61st career title, one behind Guillermo Vilas’s total, putting him 7th on the all-time list. The only active player with more titles is Roger Federer, who is looking for his 78th tomorrow in Brisbane versus Lleyton Hewitt. The Frenchman has reached 20 career finals, but has won just four.
Photo credit: Marianne Bevis (Creative Commons License)