Unlucky for Federer as Davydenko grabs famous win


Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:51

They say the thirteenth time’s the charm, don’t they? Nikolay Davydenko certainly will after beating Roger Federer for the first time in his career in the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

The Russian upset the world No.1 with a 6-2 4-6 7-5 victory, producing another inspired display on the lightning-quick court at the O2 arena.

Returning just fifteen hours after beating Robin Soderling in three sets to book his semi-final spot, there were fears a tired Davydenko would struggle against Federer, who had enjoyed a day’s grace ahead of the showdown.

But after a nervy start to the match Davydenko soon found his groove, much earlier than the fifteen-time Grand Slam champion. After saving break points in his first service game, the world No.6 broke himself wice in succession for a 4-1 lead.

Struggling to land his first serve, Federer could not impose his game on Davydenko, who committed to playing on the front foot as he has all week, denying the Swiss time to dictate play.

After serving out the set – his first against Federer since the 2006 Australian Open – Davydenko faced a different Federer in the second. His serve now firing, Federer began matching Davydenko in the rallies – matching, but not yet beating.

But Davydenko began to show the first signs of tired legs as he served to stay in the set, and Federer made him pay. With the Russian unable to keep up early in the game the Swiss broiught up the only break points of the set, taking the second to level the match when Davydenko went long mid-rally.

Federer started the final set well but could not find himself the crucial break against a dogged Davydenko. Then, tied at 5-5 in the final set, Davydenko produced some of his highest quality tennis of the week to break, before through his final service game to record a momentous victory.

“I think I have waited a long time to beat once Federer,” Davydenko said after his stunning victory. “After 12 times of losing and now here in London winning my first time against him it’s amazing for me.”


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.