Davydenko sets up Nadal clash
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:52
Serbian Djokovic was made to work hard to take the first set, and Davydenko fought back confidently to level their match.
The Russian sixth seed hung in during the third set to reach a tie-break which he won with some fine play to seal a 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7/1) victory in a shade over three hours.
Top seed Nadal advanced when Feliciano Lopez withdrew from their semi-final midway through the second set.
In the first semi, Djokovic saved a break point in game three and again in game nine as Davydenko probed his opponent. But the Serbian showed his class to put pressure on the Davydenko serve, racing to 0-40 before converting to claim the first set.
However, Davydenko was unfazed, breaking in game seven of the second set as Djokovic pushed a forehand long – and that proved enough to level.
After both players spurned break opportunities – including Davydenko coming from 0-40 down in game six – Davydenko served to stay in the match at 5-4 and 6-5 ahead to take the third set into a tie-breaker.
The sixth seed secured an immediate mini-break, then raced into a 5-0 lead with a sublime passing shot as Djokovic crumbled.
Djokovic won back one of the mini-breaks but netted to give his opponent five match points. And a stylish crosscourt forehand sent Davydenko into the final.
“He played too good,” Djokovic told www.atpworldtour.com. “I’m disappointed, because I think I played a great match.”