Leave it Nikolay Davydenko to end the hopes of a Roger Federer v. Rafael Nadal early season treat in Doha.
Hours after Nadal hammered Vicktor Troicki 6-1, 6-3, it was Federer’s turn to hold up his end of the bargain and set up the super showdown we all want to see.
But it wasn’t to be. Davydenko played the role of spoiler again handily beating Federer 6-4, 6-4. Incredibly, in the first set the Russian actually connected on 100% (27 of 27!) of his first serves – has anyone ever done that, and if so has anyone done that and lost! Quite a feat for a pro player.
Recall, Federer had beaten Davydenko 12 straight times until London in November. Now it’s Davydenko with two straight wins. Bad sign for Roger? Hard to say really. We’ll see in Australia.
For Davydenko, after wins over Ivo Karlovic and Federer, the off-season clearly didn’t suppress the momentum he gained at the end of last year. And now he’ll face Nadal who he has beaten two straight times, both in straight sets. The two have split eight meetings and on a hardcourt, I like Davydenko in this one.
And if Nikolay can do it, imagine the Russian will have beaten Federer and Nadal in consecutive events – he did it in London and he now has the chance to do it this week in Doha.
In Brisbane, Andy Roddick took care of business turning away Richard Gasquet 6-3, 7-6. Roddick now meets Tomas Berdych in the semifinals. In the other semi, my man Gael Monfils faces the worm, Radek Stepanek. All top four seeds remain in Brisbane. I look forward to a Roddick-Monfils final!
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