Posted: Sat January 4, 2014 11:57PM; Updated: Sat January 4, 2014 11:57PM

Rafael Nadal beats Gael Monfils in three-set final at Qatar Open

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Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal was forced into a deciding third set but still beat Gael Monfils to win the Qatar Open.
John Berry/Getty Images/Getty Images

DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- Rafael Nadal won his first title of the year by defeating Gael Monfils 6-1, 6-7 (5), 6-2 in an exciting, nearly two-hour final at the Qatar Open on Saturday.

Nadal dominated the first set, taking it in just 23 minutes.

Monfils settled into the match in the second set, initially taking a 3-0 lead. Although Nadal recouped the service break in the seventh game when Monfils netted a backhand, he couldn't bypass the Frenchman in the tiebreaker.

In the third set, Nadal broke Monfils in the fourth game when the Frenchman shipped two forehands long from 30-30.

He capped off his win by breaking serve again on a second match point in the final game when Monfils sailed a forehand long.

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