ATP Qatar Open: Rafa Nadal beat Gael Monfils in three sets for a 61st career win

Last Updated: 04/01/14 11:05pm

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Rafa Nadal: Up to eighth in the all-time list of ATP career titles

Rafa Nadal: Up to eighth in the all-time list of ATP career titles

Sky Bet

Rafael Nadal defeated France's Gael Monfils 6-1 6-7 (5/7) 6-2 to win the Qatar Open in Doha.

The world No 1's victory saw his career tally rise to 61 titles, taking him past Andre Agassi into eighth on the all-time list.

Monfils had only beaten the Spaniard twice in 11 previous meetings, coincidentally in Doha on both occasions in 2009 and 2012, but was unable to make it number three.

The Frenchman had responded in impressive style to force a decider by edging a tense tie-break after a one-sided first set.

But Nadal, who finished with 13 aces and 36 winners, stepped up a gear in the third to close out his first title at the event in a little under two hours.

"I never had the chance to win here before. I had match points against Davydenko in the final a few years back," said Nadal, who was runner-up to Russia's Nikolay Davydenko in 2010.

"I'm happy to start the season like this, it's the first time I have won a title in the first week of the year.

"It's a great way to start the season. I'm sure that if Gael keeps playing like this, he will be close to the top 10."

Monfils said: "Rafa put pressure on me from the first point. He was very aggressive from the first game and it was tougher for me to adjust."

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ATP Qatar Open 2014

Rafael Nadal: lost the first three games against the world No 162

Comeback win for Nadal

World No 1 Rafael Nadal was made to battle by qualifier Peter Gojowczyk on his way to a three-set victory in Qatar.

Rafael Nadal: Had to recover from a 3-0 deficit at the start of the second set

Nadal digs in to win in Doha

Rafael Nadal overcame a tricky test against Ernests Gulbis to reach the last four of the ATP Qatar ExxonMobil Open.

Andy Murray: Went 3-0 up in the second set before losing the decider

Murray stunned by Mayer

Andy Murray's comeback hit a bump when he lost to German Florian Mayer in the second round of the Qatar Open.

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