Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal has claimed the Qatar ExxonMobil Open title for the first time, beating Frenchman Gael Monfils in the 2014 tournament finale tonight.
With a score of 6-1, 6-7, 6-2 this evening at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, it is his 61st title, and the first time he has won a tournament in the opening week of the year.
“Beginnings of the season are important always because (it) seems like every time you start another season, seems like you start from zero again,” Nadal said in his post-match press conference. “Every victory is important, and (the) title today means a lot to me.”
Monfils beat Nadal at two previous encounters in Doha, but has yet to win the title itself, losing last year to fellow French player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Yesterday, Tomas Berdych and Jan Hajek from the Czech Republic won the doubles title against Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares with a score of 6-2, 6-4.
This year’s edition of the tournament saw a number of unseeded German players power through the draw, eliminating world-top players such as Andy Murray and David Ferrer in the earlier rounds.
The Germans’ dramatic run through the tournament came to an end in the semi-finals yesterday, when Nadal and Monfils succeeded in responding to their opponents’ dangerous game plans.
The six-day, $1 million tournament attracted a diverse and bundled-up crowd. The play on the courts kept many fans entertained – as did various activities in the Public Village, including autograph sessions with the players, art shows, kids zone and a traditional souq area.
Were you watching the finals? Thoughts?