If 2017 was a struggle, Gael Monfils is back in business in the new year. The Frenchman rode a dominant serving display and dogged defence in claiming the title at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Saturday. Monfils raced to his seventh ATP World Tour crown, downing #NextGenATP Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-3 in 61 minutes. Appearing in his fourth final in Doha, Monfils finally broke through for his first tournament title. Runner-up in 2006 (l. t Federer), 2012 (l. to Tsonga) and 2014 (l. to Nadal), it was fourth time lucky for the Frenchman. He fired a total of 29 winners while striking only 10 unforced errors. One year after making his debut appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals, Monfils saw his year-end position in the ATP Rankings slip to No. 46 as he struggled with his fitness in 2017. The 31-year-old was forced to withdraw from six tournaments with various ailments and concluded his season after the US Open, citing a right knee injury. But Monfils has rediscovered his top form in the opening week of 2018. The Mikael Tillstrom pupil fought for a pair of three-set victories to open the tournament, defeating Paolo Lorenzi and Jan-Lennard Struff, before ousting Peter Gojowczyk in the quarter-finals. A semi-final walkover over top seed Dominic Thiemprovided ample rest for the Frenchman, who was at his ruthless best in the championship.