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Davydenko reaches Masters Cup semifinals

Nikolay Davydenko advanced to the semifinals of the Masters Cup by beating Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 6-2 Thursday.

Knowing the winner would advance, Davydenko's defense and relentless groundstrokes were the difference, turning an expected tight match into a rout. He broke Del Potro's serve four times in eight chances.

"Today, I played so good," Davydenko said. "I feel great."

Earlier, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France beat Novak Djokovic of Serbia 1-6, 7-5, 6-1. Djokovic had already been assured of a spot in the semifinals of the season-ending tournament, while Tsonga had been eliminated. Del Potro was unable to put much pressure on his Russian opponent in the first set, connecting on only 42 percent of his first serves.

Serving while trailing 4-3, Del Potro double-faulted to set up break-point. Davydenko put away a forehand winner off a short ball for the game, then held at love for the set.

After Del Potro held to start the second set, Davydenko won five straight games, leaving the Argentine looking increasingly frustrated. Del Potro held to get to 5-2, but Davydenko finished it off by holding at love, with Del Potro netting a second-serve return on match point.

Del Potro said he didn't see the ball well, was moving slowly and never found his rhythm. But he was still happy about his performance this year - rising into the top 10 - and looking forward to next week's Davis Cup final between Argentina and Spain.

"I'm living a dream," Del Potro said.

SHANGHAI, Thursday, AP

 

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