DUBAI // Nikolay Davydenko yesterday became the fifth member of the world's top 10 to withdraw from the ill-fated Dubai Championships. The Russian's damaged left wrist, which had threatened his participation in the tournament, became too painful for him to continue his second-round match against Germany's Michael Berrer. "The pain came back after my first match and I thought about retiring before today's match," said a worried Davydenko, the fourth seed who defied the discomfort to come through a tough opening round against the Frenchman Florent Serra. "But I felt OK in the warm-up so I decided to play. After losing the first set to the 56th-ranked Berrer, he concluded that the risk to his fitness at this early part of the season was to great to carry on so opted to quit. "It's disappointing for me because I didn't recover quickly enough," added Davydenko who sustained the injury to his non-serving arm when he fell heavily during a match in Rotterdam two weeks ago. "You will do anything to try to relieve the pain but I don't know at the moment how long this pain is going to be with me. I always enjoy coming to Dubai and I'm sad that I couldn't have the chance to make a strong challenge here." The premature departure of Davydenko follows the withdrawals before the tournament of the four-time champion Roger Federer and other previous winners Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick, along with the US Open champion, Juan Martin Del Potro. Another casualty was the Frenchman Michael Llodra, who, like Davydenko, retired after one set - a lost tie-break against his compatriot Jo Wilfried Tsonga, the fifth seed. Davydenko, who secured his greatest individual career honour by winning the ATP's end-of-season Tour finals in London last year, is a key member of Russia's Davis Cup team but is doubtful about his prospects of leading them against India next week. "I don't know for sure whether I will be going to Moscow," he said. "We'll have to see on that one." His next big dates after that are the two Masters Series tournaments in California and Florida next month. He said he was hopeful about being able to fulfil those commitments.
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