Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Tennis [Print without images]

Friday, January 8, 2010
Davydenko knocks off Federer at Qatar

Associated Press

DOHA, Qatar -- Top-ranked Roger Federer was upset by Nikolay Davydenko 6-4, 6-4 Friday in the semifinal of the Qatar Open.

The sixth-ranked Davydenko improved to 2-12 against Federer. The Russian defeated Federer at the season-ending championships in London in November.

"He tried to create pressure but I came up with winners when I wanted to," Davydenko said. "I ran a lot and that made me tired, especially in the second set. But I fought for every point."

The upset prevents a Sunday showdown of Federer against Rafael Nadal. The second-ranked Nadal cruised past fifth-seeded Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-1, 6-3.

"I think it will be a tough match because I have watched Rafa play," Davydenko said. "He is playing good tennis at the moment. He can play for 10 hours, I can't. The fans will get to watch a good match."

Nadal and Davydenko have each won four times in head-to-head matches.

"I don't know for how much longer I can hold this level of tennis," Davydenko said.

The Russian got off to a fast start against Federer, breaking him in the third game when the Swiss hit two returns into the net. Ahead 2-1, Davydenko held his serve to close out the set at 6-4.

By contrast, Federer struggled with his serve.

"Yeah, he served very well, especially when he needed to. He played better," Federer said. "I felt my arm from the cold but it is not an excuse. He served well. He made it difficult as the match went on."

Davydenko kept up the pressure in the second set and again broke an error-prone Federer in the third game. Davydenko held his serve for the rest of the set to seal the win.

Federer heads to Melbourne for the Australian Open.

"There is nothing to worry about my arm. I will be fine," Federer said.