Doha has been historically good to Gael Monfils.
After a down 2017, the Frenchman on Saturday used the Qatar Open to jumpstart his 2018, winning his first title of the year in the first week with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Andrey Rublev in the final.
The 31-year-old won his first Doha title in his fourth final.
“I like this tournament so much,” said Monfils, who benefited from a semifinal walkover win against top seed Dominic Thiem. “I always come back and I finally got it. So I’m just very happy and very proud.”
Rublev fell to 1-2 in career finals.
Monfils, who entered the week at No. 46 on the ATP rankings, improved to 7-20 in career finals, winning a first title since 2016 Washington.
The 20-year-old Rublev won his lone title last year at Umag.
“Every time he was moving me to one side and most of the time it was almost over, or if I could catch one point then he was always killing me with the second,” Rublev said afterwards. “Of course I’m disappointed. It’s always tough to lose, especially in the final. Sometimes it’s even tougher to recover when you lose in the final than when you lose some semifinals or first rounds. But of course it was great week for me. It’s a great start for me. I didn’t expect that I’m going to be in the finals, which is great. I’m of course I’m happy to be in the final. I’m happy with my result this week. And I hope and I wish I can be more consistent.”
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