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Davydenko hammers Nadal in Miami

By Piers Newbery

Nikolay Davydenko
Davydenko has now won Masters Series titles in Miami and Paris

Russia's Nikolay Davydenko claimed the second Masters Series title of his career with victory over Rafael Nadal at the Sony Ericsson Open in Florida.

The 26-year-old went into the match as the underdog but dominated both on serve and return as he won 6-4 6-2.

Davydenko broke twice in each set to win in one hour 30 minutes, adding the title to his 2006 Paris Masters crown.

"Second time to win Masters Series, it's like for me something important," said Davydenko.

"Fighting every match, you know, beat Nadal in the final, first time in my career.

"My tennis was so good today. I think it's the best tennis of the hard-court season.

"Here Nadal was favourite, and also in semi-final Roddick was the favorite. Just to beat two guys in two sets is like amazing for me."

In the future I play something maybe different, maybe much better, much faster

Nikolay Davydenko

Nadal said: "I think he played at a good level. He played a good match, but I didn't play well today.

"So when you don't play at 100% at this level against top players, it's tough to win, especially on a hard surface. So I congratulate him more because he played better than me.

"He played more aggressive, with more good feelings, forehand, backhand volley, drop shot."

Nadal had been looking to win his first tournament since Stuttgart last July.

That fact had clearly been a motivation all week for Nadal, who had looked supremely focused on his way through the draw.

And having won both previous encounters between the pair, the world number two went into the match as the favourite.

But after they swapped early breaks, Davydenko went ahead again in game seven and confidently served out on his second set point.

Nadal, 21, was making more errors than usual as he faced one of the few players capable of matching his energy and consistency from the baseline.

606: DEBATE
BBC Radio 5 Live's Jonathan Overend
Davydenko kept up the pressure with another break at the start of the second set, and when he extended that advantage to 4-1 it was all but over.

Nadal suffered a heartbreaking five-set defeat by Roger Federer in the final three years ago but the end came considerably quicker this time.

By the closing stages, Davydenko was totally dominant on serve and even coming into the net to finish off some points.

The world number four put Nadal out of his misery on the second match point for a win that solidifies his position among the game's elite.

"Maybe I feel more confident because I beat very good guys here," Davydenko added.

"And in the future I start coming and I play something maybe different, maybe much better, much faster.

"For me it's good I won here, and we'll see how good I can prepare for the clay-court season."

Three-time French Open champion Nadal was happy enough with his efforts as he prepares to get back to his favourite surface in the forthcoming European clay-court season.

"I played a very good tournament," he said. "I won against very good players.

"I played at my best level against Berdych, against Blake, against Mathieu. So for that reason I won against these top players.

"Today I didn't play my best. He played well and I lost."




see also
Miami photos
05 Apr 08 |  Tennis
Murray hands Ancic win in Miami
30 Mar 08 |  Tennis


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