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Tennis: Nadal holds off Monfils to clinch Qatar title

Published on Jan 5, 2014 6:14 AM
 
Rafael Nadal of Spain holds his trophy after winning the Qatar Open men's final tennis match in Doha on Jan 4, 2014. Rafael Nadal at last made a title-winning start to a year when he held off Gael Monfils 6-1, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2 to clinch the Qatar Open on Saturday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

DOHA (AFP) - Rafael Nadal at last made a title-winning start to a year when he held off Gael Monfils 6-1, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2 to clinch the Qatar Open on Saturday.

It was world number one Nadal's 61st career title and took him to eighth on the all-time list, passing Andre Agassi.

"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 and it's a great way to start the season." Nadal took his record over Monfils to 9-2 with the Frenchman having achieved both his wins over the Spaniard in Doha, in 2009 and 2012.

 
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