• Qatar Open

Nadal claims first title of 2014

ESPN staff
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Rafael Nadal saw off Gael Monfils in three sets © AP
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World No.1 Rafael Nadal claimed his first title of 2014 with a 6-1 6-7(5) 6-2 win over Gael Monfils at the season-opening Qatar Open in Doha.

Nadal holding silverware aloft became a familiar sight in 2013, eventually winning 10 titles following his comeback from a knee injury, and he looked ready to take his first of the new year at the first time of asking after rattling through the opening set in just 23 minutes.

However Monfils broke to lead 3-0 in the second set. The Spaniard fought back to level though Monfils took it to level the match, holding onto his advantage after going 4-2 up in the tiebreak following a misplaced lob by his opponent.

Nadal then broke Monfils for 3-1 in the decider and went on to win his 61st career title.

It is the first time Nadal, 27, has won his opening tournament of the year, giving him the perfect start ahead of the Australian Open which begins on January 13.

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