x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Out of sorts Nadal beaten by Davydenko

Rafael Nadal's luck in Doha ran out last night as the world No 1 crashed out of the Exxonmobil Open at the semi-final stages to Nikolay Davydenko.

Rafael Nadal's luck in Doha ran out last night as the world No 1 crashed out of the Exxonmobil Open at the semi-final stages to Nikolay Davydenko.

Nadal, who has been struggling with a fever in Qatar, had not looked convincing all week as he struggled on court.

He had lost a set 6-0 to the unheralded Lukas Lacko in the third round on his way to winning, and had toiled against Ernests Gulbis, the fifth seed, on Thursday, before triumphing.

But up against Davydenko, the defending champion in Doha, proved too good for the Spaniard as he triumphed in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.

The damage for Nadal, who had played Davydenko in last year's final was done midway through the first set.

He was broken in the eighth game by the world No 22 and that proved enough to lose the first set.

Sensing his opportunity, Davydenko immediately broke again at the start of the second set as Nadal continued to toil, and the Russian never looked back from then on as he cruised through to today's final.

He will meet Roger Federer, the world No 2, who booked his place in the final with a 6-3, 7-6 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Federer broke Tsonga's serve in the second game of the match and remained solid on serve throughout the contest which lasted one hour 21 minutes.

Tsonga, just back from an injury that disrupted the end of his year, looked more of a threat in the second set.

He saved a couple of break points to stay level pegging with Federer early in the second set, but was not given a look-in during the tiebreak.

Federer, twice a champion in Doha, was particularly impressive on serve, winning 14 consecutive points on his own delivery during the second set to all but end the Tsonga challenge.

Meanwhile, the semi-finals of the Brisbane International today sees Robin Soderling, the No 1 seed, and Andy Roddick, the No 2 seed, take on Radek Stepanek and Kevin Andersen respectively, as they bid to reach tomorrow's final.

 

* With agencies