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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Novak Djokovic wins his first Qatar Tennis Open title (photos)

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All photos by Ray Toh

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic easily beat Rafael Nadal of Spain 6-1, 6-2 in the 2016 Qatar ExxonMobil Tennis Open finals last night.

This is the 28-year-old Serbian’s first time taking home the falcon-shaped trophy, but also one of several other titles he’s won in the past year, including the US Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon.

The two star tennis players faced off in front of a packed audience at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex.

Some ticket-holders complained about having trouble getting into the match on time:

The delays may have had to do with increased security, as several VIPs attended the finals, including Qatar’s Emir, Prime Minister and Minister of Culture.

Long-standing rivals

Djokovic and Nadal have been facing off for years, though last night appeared to be one of the Serbian’s clearest victories against the Spanish athlete.

Speaking after the tournament, Nadal said, according to AFP:

“I played against a player who did everything perfect. I know nobody playing tennis like this ever. Since I know this sport I never saw somebody playing at this level.”

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

For his part, Djokovic, who had not lost a set all week, said:

“It’s a great feeling. What can I say? I am living the best time of my life and career. It’s easy to lose confidence than it is to gain. I am very grateful to have a start like this in Doha.”

He also dedicated the falcon-shaped trophy to his grandfather, saying, “This trophy reminds me of someone who was very close to me, but who is no longer here. My grandfather used to call me Falcon.”

Djokovic will next go to the Australian Open to defend his title from Jan. 18.

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