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Davydenko, Verdasco close in on finals


 

Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:55

As the sixth and seventh seeds, respectively, the pair received byes into the second round, and Davydenko wasted little time in trouncing Benjamin Becker 6-2 6-1.

A tense-looking Verdasco had a much tougher time against Italy’s Andreas Seppi, though, losing the first set having been a break up before recovering to win 6-7 (3/7) 6-4 6-4.

Davydenko went into the final event of the regular season in pole position to secure one of the two remaining places for the prestigious eight-man tournament at the O2 in London.

And Verdasco’s victory means Radek Stepanek and Marin Cilic cannot now qualify, with Robin Soderling, Fernando Gonzalez and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga the only men in with a chance of overhauling the pair.

Davydenko, who won the Paris title in 2006 and often finds his best form at the end of the season, said: “It was the same for me last year and the year before.

“Four guys need to win this tournament; if somebody (reached) the final, it’s not enough,” he added on atpworldtour.com.

In first-round action, French qualifier David Guez surprisingly beat Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3 6-4 while another Swiss player, Marco Chiudinelli, could not build on his run to the semi-finals in Basle last week as he lost 6-2 6-4 to Nicolas Almagro, who will face second seed Rafael Nadal next.

Juan Monaco set up a second-round clash against Novak Djokovic with a 7-6 (8/6) 7-5 victory over Jeremy Chardy while home hope Julien Benneteau saw off Philipp Petzschner 4-6 7-5 6-3 and now faces Roger Federer.

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