DOHA – Rafael Nadal reached the final of the Qatar Open on Friday by coming from behind to beat German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Nadal is looking for his first title in Doha and will face Gael Monfils of France, who only needed 55 minutes to dispatch Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-2 in the other semifinal.
“I’m in the final,” Nadal said. “That (will) probably give me a little bit more confidence, a little bit more rhythm.”
Nadal lost the first three games against the 162nd-ranked Gojowczyk but came back to level the first set before losing serve again in the 10th game.
The top-ranked Spaniard then raced to a 4-1 lead in the second and broke Gojowczyk in the third game of the decider after two forehand errors by the German.
“We’ll see if I am able to make (changes) tomorrow to play a little bit better,” Nadal said.
The 31st-ranked Monfils hasn’t dropped a set all week but has only won twice against Nadal in 10 previous meetings. However, both those victories came in Doha — in the 2009 quarterfinals and the 2012 semifinals.
This will be Monfils’ third appearance in the Doha final — he lost to Roger Federer in 2006 and to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2012.
“It means a lot to be in the final again,” Monfils said. “I have one match to go. I’ll be ready for it.”
Gojowczyk had only won one career tour-level match — at the 2013 U.S. Open — before this tournament, but still managed to bother Nadal in the first set. Nadal’s forehand improved in the second, however, and his opponent couldn’t keep up after that.