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Safin sweeps past Davydenko

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:52

Safin was runner-up in last year’s final, and today he came from a set down to win 4-6 6-4 6-2 and end Davydenko’s bid for a fourth title in the Russian capital.

Safin, 29, who retires at the end of the season, produced 10 aces and a better all-round game against his 28-year-old opponent to win in a little under two hours.

Also through into the second round were Evgeny Korolev who beat fellow Russian Igor Kunitsyn 7-6 (6) 6-3 while qualifier Illya Marchenko was 4-1 up in the deciding set when Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin retired with a throat infection to seal a 1-6 6-4 4-1 result.

Russian third seed Mikhail Youzhny thrashed Potito Starace, of Italy, 6-1 6-1 in less than an hour, producing a superb service performance to reach the third round.

Pablo Cuevas, the fifth seed, had a tougher match but prevailed 3-6 6-1 6-4 against Teimuraz Gabashvili.

However, seventh seed Fabrice Santoro crashed out in straight sets to qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine.

Stakhovsky hit 11 aces and produced a far more incisive game to win 7-5 6-1 to overcome a deficit of 60 ranking places.

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