Joy for Nadal in Qatar
Rafael Nadal enjoyed the ideal preparation for the Australian Open as he beat Gael Monfils to win the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.
The world number one had looked short of his best in the build-up to the final, but he simply blew Monfils away during the opening set, which he took 6-1 after just 23 minutes.
But Frenchman Monfils bravely rallied in the second set, and led 3-0 at one point before edging a tie-breaker 7/5.
A thrilling final set had been in prospect, but when Nadal broke early in the decider he ruthlessly marched away to take a 6-1 6-7 (5/7) 6-2 victory and claim his 61st career title.
It also marks the first time the Spaniard has won the first tournament he has entered in a calendar year.
- Boys to men: Frazer Clarke and Zach Parker eye ABAs glory in Liverpool
- SLIDESHOW: Solid start for TAG Racing and Buildbase BMW Motorrad at Brands Hatch
- Rolleston 3rds open up with a win in Six South but Trentside 2nds fall to a nine-wicket defeat to A&B
- Barton fireworks ensure a successful run chase
- Hospital chiefs reveal £1m cost of free parking
- Religious leaders back petition on food poverty as new data shows sharp rise in handouts
- Father 'gutted' over primary school choice
- Call for answers after mental health travel support axed
- 'I was trying to get out of it' says banned driver in Facebook posts
- Driving ban plea falls on deaf ears as man faces losing business