Masters Cup: Davydenko beats Gonzalez

Fourth-ranked Nikolay Davydenko beat Fernando Gonzalez 6-4, 6-3, handing defending champion Roger Federer a place in the Masters Cup semifinals.

updated: November 17, 2007 07:59 IST
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Fourth-ranked Nikolay Davydenko beat Number 7 Fernando Gonzalez 6-4, 6-3 on Friday, handing defending champion Roger Federer a place in the Masters Cup semifinals.

Davydenko already had been eliminated from the year-ending tournament for the top eight men in the rankings by dropping his first two matches.

While inconsistent again, the Russian knocked out Gonzalez, who had hoped to emerge from the Red Group if he won and top-ranked Federer were to lose the final round-robin match later against Number 5 Andy Roddick.

Roddick, 1-14 career against Federer, won his first two matches to guarantee he would advance. Second-ranked Rafael Nadal and Number 6 David Ferrer earlier qualified from the Gold Group.

Davydenko essentially won a battle of attrition against Gonzalez, who was at the top of his game in beating Federer and then showed his well-known inconsistency by losing his last two matches.

Davydenko was hit or miss throughout the match, with 33 winners offset by 35 unforced errors. Uncharacteristically, he frequently charged the net, where he either hit a deft volley or looked like a deer caught in the headlights with bad mistakes.

But Gonzalez was even more uneven, and even his stinging forehand let him down. He smacked a clean winner around the net post for one of only seven forehand winners to 17 unforced errors.

The Chilean's frustration boiled over when he netted a forehand on break point while serving at 4-5 to concede the first set to Davydenko.

His received a code violation after smashing his racket on the court, then bashing the net post as he walked back to his chair.

Davydenko got the final break he needed on his 15th break point of the match as Gonzalez served at 3-4.

The Russian then held serve, hitting a clean volley winner on match point.