David Nalbandian maintained his bid to reach the end of season Masters Cup in Shanghai as he reached the final of the Paris Masters last night. The Argentine, who needs to win the event to be in the top eight in the ATP Tour race and go to China for the end of season event, defeated Nikolay Davydenko in three sets to earn his spot in the final.
Having confidentally disposed of Andy Murray in the quarter-finals on Friday, the in-form Argentine had made a strong start to the match as he dominated the early proceedings, winning the first five games as Davydenko struggled to get a foothold in the match. But after Nalbandian had claimed the first set 6-1, the world No 4 began to get into his stride as the second set went with serve for the first eleven games.
The Russian stepped up a gear in the 12th game and some searing returns earned him three break points on the Nalbandian serve. He took advantage of a weak second serve to earn the break and take the second set 7-5, taking it to a decider. But an unperturbed Nalbandian continued to impress with his powerful ground strokes and he claimed the advantage by breaking Davydenko's serve in the seventh game.
He then kept his composure to hold his own service twice more to seal an impressive victory and continue his week of good form. Nalbandian will meet either the American James Blake or home favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in today's final. Tsonga had beaten No 6 seed Andy Roddick on Friday to reach the last four. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org