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Page last updated at 12:09 GMT, Thursday, 13 November 2008

Del Potro v Davydenko as it happened

Masters Cup result:

Gold Group:

JM del Potro lost to N Davydenko

3-6 2-6

LATEST ACTION (all times GMT)
606: DEBATE
To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Sarah Holt

SECOND SET:

1343: So today's final Gold Group action should see Novak Djokovic go through to the semi-finals as the Group winner with Davydenko joining him as runner-up. Andy Murray is also through to the semis from the Red Group but he will play Roger Federer, who is hoping to join him, on Friday.

Del Potro 3-6 2-6 Davydenko A fifth ace takes Davydenko to 30-0 and he brings up three match points with a smash. The crowd try to lift Del Potro with a burst of half-hearted cheering but the Argentine pushes a tame second serve into the net and the game is up for him. Davydenko pumps his fist with an unusual display of cheeriness. Glum Del Potro limply waves his hand and waves goodbye to the Masters Cup. He's got to head back to Argentina to play in the looming Davis Cup final against Spain.

Del Potro 3-6 2-5 Davydenko
Del Potro serves to stay in the match. He's going to have to pull something out of the bag here or he'll be packing his bags to go back to Buenos Aires. Del Potro huffs and puffs but some good retrieving from Davydenko and poor serving from the Argentine sends him to deuce. A couple of errors from the Russian are enough for Del Potro to hold. He's hanging in there - just.

"Davydenko may look 25 years older than Roger Federer but he's actually the same age - 27."
An aside from tennis expert Neil Harman on 5 Live

Del Potro 3-6 1-5 Davydenko
Davydenko leaves a tennis-ball shaped hole in the net as he serves the ball straight into the mesh. It's about the only thing to please the crowd, who seem very dissatisfied with the way the Russian is bossing this encounter. Davydenko holds to love as Del Potro goes long.

Del Potro 3-6 1-4 Davydenko
Davydenko is all over Del Potro, he lures him into the net and then rattles a forehand past him at 30-40. The Argentine loops a forehand into the tramlines with an air of resignation to concede the double break.

1322: "Not seen much of Davydenko because of his apparent inability to win the bigger tournaments, I am confused as to why this is the case. He could be a huge threat in this tournament should he come through today."
Rob via text

Del Potro 3-6 1-3 Davydenko
A double fault and a missed forehand almost let Del Potro in but Davydenko snuffs it out with a lazy smash to hold to 30.

Del Potro 3-6 1-2 Davydenko
With the court open, Del Potro misses a simple drive volley at 0-40. He slams his racquet to the ground as he nets the backhand to concede the break. Del Potro probably thinks he's only got himself to blame but Davydenko played his part too, conjuring some aggressive ground strokes to gain the upper hand in Shanghai.

Del Potro 3-6 1-1 Davydenko
An hour on the clock in Shanghai - it has felt a little longer following that zinger of a match between Tsonga and Djokovic - and Davydenko holds.

Del Potro 3-6 1-0 Davydenko
It's a mixed bag of a game at the start of the second set. A dazzling Davydenko forehand and an audacious lob from Del Potro are the best bits but they were blotted by some netted balls and mis-hits. It won't matter to Del Potro as he ekes out the hold.

1305: "Del Potro has every attribute required to pound that first serve down but the ball is not going through the court quickly enough for someone of his brute strength. He just cannot get the pace on the ball and it's giving Davydenko, a scrambler, the chance to get everything. It looks to me that Davydenko is going to ease his way through the second set."
Tennis expert Neil Harman on 5 Live

FIRST SET:

Del Potro 3-6 Davydenko
No messing about from Davydenko as he wraps up the game to love and with it the first set.

Del Potro 3-5 Davydenko
Davydenko isn't going to let Del Potro off the hook that easily. The Russian stands firm in a long, long rally and Del Potro lets out a grunt of frustration before hitting the net post to concede the point at 0-30. Davydenko unleashes a cross-court forehand at 30-40 but Del Potro digs deep to recover deuce. The Argentine's serving lets him down again as a double fault - his first of the match - brings up break point and Davydenko makes the most of it with a stunning diagonal forehand.

Del Potro 3-4 Davydenko
A slice of luck moves Del Potro to 0-30 as the Russian is bamboozled by a net cord. A backhand winner from Del Potro moves him closer to the break and the Argentine completes his recovery when Davydenko goes long. The set is back on serve and let's hope that has livened up the match.

Del Potro 2-4 Davydenko
Del Potro finds his focus to easily hold to 15. The Argentine has had a fabulous season, climbing from number 50 in the world at the start of the year to number eight. He'll want to finish 2008 with a decent performance in Shanghai but he needs to find something special if he is going to deny Davydenko.

Del Potro 1-4 Davydenko
Davydenko moves closer to the first set as he whizzes through his service game, sealing it with an ace.

Del Potro 1-3 Davydenko
The DJ at the Qi Zhong stadium is clearly in regressive mood again as he spins Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" as the players return to their seats.

Del Potro restarts the action and after a few hard-hitting rallies he nets to slide to deuce. The Argentine challenges a call after his return is called out but the Hawk-Eye replays backs the line judge and that hands Davydenko a break point. Del Potro nets a return to seal the break for the Russian and blinks rapidly in frustration. Del Potro's first serve really let him down there.

"If this develops into the slug-fest it might not be too pretty on the eye, but variety isn't really Davydenko or Del Potro's forte."
Tennis expert Neil Harman on BBC 5 Live

Del Potro 1-2 Davydenko
Davydenko nets his backhand at 30-40 to give Del Potro an early opportunity to break. The Argentine wipes his mouth as he thwacks a double-handed backhand into the net at deuce. The Russian edges a tight rally as Del Potro goes wide and an ace is good enough for the hold.

Del Potro 1-1 Davydenko
Not quite so tidy from vest-top fan Del Potro, who slides to deuce with a misplaced forehand. The Argentine holds as the Russian nets. Davydenko was really scurrying around the baseline trying to punish Del Potro's sluggish start - so early warnings for the Argentine.

Del Potro 0-1 Davydenko
Right then. Davydenko, the world number five, gets things under way at the Qi Zhong stadium and it's an efficient service game from the Russian. He casually bangs down two successive aces to hold to 15.

1205: Hello again. Wow, did you catch Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's victory over Novak Djokovic? Quite a thriller - and that was only the warm-up.

The main course this lunchtime is Nikolay Davydenko and Juan Martin del Potro. It's a winner takes all affair with a place in the semi-finals at stake.

Could be a tough one this, but what do you reckon? You can text me on 81111 or get involved on 606. Join the debate

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see also
Masters Cup photos
13 Nov 08 |  Tennis


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