Novak Djokovic beats Rafael Nadal to win Qatar Open title

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic leads Rafael Nadal 24-23 in their head-to-head

World number one Novak Djokovic claimed his first title of the year with an impressive 6-1 6-2 win over Rafael Nadal in the Qatar Open.

The Serb continued his recent dominance of the 14-time Grand Slam winner with a ninth victory in 10 meetings - the last five in straight sets.

The 28-year-old broke twice in both sets as Nadal, 29, had no answer to the pace and power of his groundstrokes.

Djokovic is preparing to defend his Australian Open title from 18 January.

Djokovic - a class apart

This was Djokovic's most convincing victory against Nadal in their 47 meetings, a head-to-head he leads for the first time.

Nadal made just 13 unforced errors but was bullied off the court by an inspired opponent who gave him perhaps the most uncomfortable 73 minutes he has faced on court.

Djokovic, who has reached the final of every event he has entered since losing to Ivo Karlovic in the quarter-finals of last year's Qatar Open, lost just nine points on his own serve.

Nadal, meanwhile, won only 48% of points on his own first serve and made nine winning returns compared to 30 from Djokovic.

'Perfect tennis'

Djokovic, for whom this was a first Qatar Open title, said: "I played very much perfect tennis.

"From the beginning, I hit every shot the way I imagined I would hit it. Those two sets give me a great feeling.

"It gives me a lot of confidence and satisfaction, particularly against Rafa."

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