Nadal, Monfils claim spots in Qatar Open final

Jan. 3, 2014 at 2:06 PM
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DOHA, Qatar, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- No. 1-ranked Rafael Nadal overcame a first-set loss Friday in gaining a spot in the finals of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open.

Nadal came away a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 winner over qualifier Peter Gojowczyk, currently 161 spots behind Nadal in the rankings. Gojowczyk seemed to get Nadal's attention by cashing in a pair of break points to take the first set. Nadal ran off the first four games of the second set, however, and didn't lose his serve again until he was up in the third set.

He won more than two-thirds of the points when serving in the second and third sets.

Nadal advances to a tournament finals for the 15th time in his last 18 tournaments. He'll be seeking ATP title No. 61 Saturday when he goes against Gael Monfils of France, who was a 6-3, 6-2 winner over Florian Mayer in his semifinal.

Monfils finished off the win in 55 minutes. The second set was especially quick as Monfils lost six points in his four games serving and converted both of his break chances.

Nadal is 8-2 in his career versus Monfils, whose last win over Nadal came in the quarterfinals at Doha in 2009. Monfils is 4-15 in ATP championship matches, with his most recent win coming October 2011. He's dropped four finals appearances since then.

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