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Page last updated at 16:29 GMT, Sunday, 29 November 2009

Del Potro v Davydenko as it happened



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By Caroline Cheese

1625: There we are then. The O2 Arena is emptying for the final time at the ATP World Tour Finals. A few creases to iron out for next year (earlier finishes, organisers knowing who has qualified for the semi-finals, less Black Eyed Peas, more Fleetwood Mac at the changeovers) but overall, very definitely a success. Bye bye.

1621: And the new ATP World Tour champion doesn't even have a racquet sponsor after his deal with Prince ended. He was asked about that the other night and joked - yes, joked: "Prince gave all their money to Sharapova."

1619: As Petchey notes, Davydenko beat all this year's Grand Slam champions this week - so you can't say he didn't earn this title. A possible major winner next year?

1617: On-court interviewer Mark Petchey asks NiDav if he might spend some of his winnings (close to £1m) on a Christmas present for his wife. He remains coy. Probably wise.

BBC Sport's Piers Newbery tweeting from the O2: "As predicted (by someone else, probably), Davydenko in two. Bit of a flat final, might have been better in the evening, but NiDav brilliant."

Nikolay Davydenko: "Yeah!... I just want to congratulate Martin: he had a big season. For me it was amazing, coming in as number seven and winning the tournament. I surprised myself. Maybe I now have English fans... I hope. I really enjoy coming to London, I will try to come back again."

Juan Martin del Potro: "Congratulations Nikolay, you had a great week, you beat everyone and you're a great champion. Thank you the crowd, you support me a lot and helped me. I hope to see you next year."

1611: Huge cheer for today's loser, Juan Martin del Potro, as he shakes hands with the suits in the presentation committee. Now for NiDav, wearing a massive grin. I feel quite emotional for tennis's forgotten man. As he lifts the trophy, the blue tickertape comes down.

1610: It's the result no-one predicted at the beginning of the week - but thoroughly well-deserved all the same. World domination awaits... but for now, NiDav is giving his wife Irina a great big smacker.


Del Potro 3-6 4-6 Davydenko
He's done it! Big serve out wide gets NiDav off to the perfect start, but he fails to challenge a call on his next serve which a replay shows actually caught the line. He loses that point, but bounces back on the next and an ace gives him two match points. The Russian takes the first when DelPo fails to return a smash and NiDav has his hands in the air.

Del Potro 3-6 4-5* Davydenko
NiDav steps it up, a fizzing forehand down the line taking him to 0-30 before a forehand pass gives him three break points. He only needs one, a big cross-court forehand forcing the error from DelPo. He'll now have a couple of minutes at the changeover to ponder how to go about serving for the biggest title - and pay cheque - of his career.

Del Potro *3-6 4-4 Davydenko
And now Davydenko holds easily, DelPo shrugging his shoulders in despair as a backhand clears the baseline.

From anon via text on 81111: "Andrew Castle has said more than once that Del Potro is tired because he played late last night but Davydenko beat Federer after playing three sets on Friday evening!"

Del Potro 3-6 4-3* Davydenko
DelPo shrugs off the disappointment of that last game with a double-quick service game, putting the pressure back on the Russian.

Del Potro *3-6 3-3 Davydenko
Good start by DelPo, winning the all-important first point, but then he can't get the return back off a second serve. Another anguished cry from the Argentine - but he's giving this game everything, and Davydenko's error gives him a break point. Davydenko serves an ace down the T, but then faces another break point when he mis-hits a backhand. Serve-volley this time, and now DelPo looks to the heavens as he overcooks a forehand, allowing Davydenko the chance to come through.

From DC at the O2, via text on 81111: "Del Potro always looks weary, did for most of the US Open final I recall, and look what happened there. I still reckon he can turn this around, vamos!"

Del Potro 3-6 3-2* Davydenko
Trouble, big trouble. DelPo faces a break point - and in the state he's in, that's got to be a virtual match point. He saves it with a big serve, but a forlorn forehand, which lands halfway up the net, gives NiDav another go. Another big serve. He's hanging in there, but only just.

BBC Sport's Piers Newbery tweeting from the O2 Arena: "Could have got 14/1 on NiDav last week. 14/1. Put a tenner on and that's... £140!"

Del Potro *3-6 2-2 Davydenko
DelPo may be improving - but NiDav is showing no signs of going anywhere. Love service game.

Del Potro 3-6 2-1* Davydenko
Much, much better from DelPo as he holds to love. In the changeover, we get to see a video of all the greats who have won this title. Did Alex Corretja get a mention? Did he heck...

Del Potro *3-6 1-1 Davydenko
That might cheer up DelPo. He motors across the baseline and dispatches a forehand winner to make it 15-15 - only for NiDav to respond with an ace. DelPo comes back with another huge forehand, but NiDav again comes up with a big serve. Cry of despair from DelPo.

Del Potro 3-6 1-0* Davydenko
Crucial that DelPo starts well in the set, and he does... sending down a massive serve before putting away the drive volley on game point. Crowd are urging on the big man from Tandil - desperate to see a bit more tennis.

From AJ in the O2, via text on 81111: "My friend Freddie and I are sitting three rows back from end with the "foot fault" [see 1-3 game]. It's ruining Del Potro's set. He's still muttering and looking less sharp than Davy. Maybe three sets last night has taken it out of him? Let's hope not. VAMOS Juan Martin!"

Del Potro *3-6 Davydenko
No problem for the Ironman, who serves out the first set to love. DelPo has it all to do - and he doesn't look like he has the legs to do it.

Del Potro 3-5* Davydenko
A nice, easy service game is what DelPo needs... but he doesn't get it. Davydenko gets to deuce with a ridiculous backhand, flicking it cross-court, leaving DelPo completely flat-footed. "That's the best backhand we've seen all week," says Annabel Croft on 5 Live Sports Extra, who clearly didn't see the rip-snorter I planted on the baseline yesterday in an otherwise hopeless display. The world number five survives to force Davydenko to serve out.

Del Potro *2-5 Davydenko
Hello... Davydenko suddenly goes off the boil, chucking in an extremely poorly-timed double fault to go break point down - but some belting forehands put him in control of the point and he goes on to survive after a couple of deuces. With DelPo looking exhausted already, that may have been a crucial game.

From Kate and James, row T, the O2, via text on 81111: "Please can you ask Sue Barker to turn her light down? It is really blinding! Thanks."

Del Potro 2-4* Davydenko
DelPo has got a proper sulk on. Think Kevin the Teenager and double it. Still, he uses that enormous wingspan to scramble back a forehand, forcing a volley error from Davydenko, to get to 40-0, before absolutely destroying a bounce smash to get back on track.

Del Potro *1-4 Davydenko
DelPo still muttering about that foot-fault as he loses his fifth point in a row to go 30-0 down. NiDav consolidates the break, and DelPo, his chin on his chest, trudges disconsolately to the chair.

Del Potro 1-3* Davydenko
Davydenko makes the first challenge of the day - and sees the ball land plumb on the 'T'. The Russian gets to 15-30 by winning a crowd-pleasing volley exchange, and forces deuce with a swinging cross-court forehand. DelPo goes long to hand NiDav a break point. The big serve-big forehand combo saves him, but he faces another when, after an ace is wiped off for a foot-fault, he mis-hits a forehand, and another error hands Davydenko the break.

From Phil, Baker St, via text on 81111: "I was at the O2 for four sessions this week - the music was pretty dreadful! It needed to be 'up' and dancey to get the crowd going. Durgey Robbie W and Coldplay nearly put us all to sleep at the changeovers."

Del Potro *1-2 Davydenko
So quick, I missed it. Davydenko seems to have settled quickly here.

Del Potro 1-1* Davydenko
Davydenko ruins DelPo's hopes of a love game with a stealthy approach to the net and drop volley, but the Argentine comes through. Incidentally, I may have misled you earlier. The 5 live crew can be heard on Sports Extra right now, or on this website.

Del Potro *0-1 Davydenko
Solid start from NiDav as he holds to love. Del Potro not at the races yet.
* denotes next to serve

1442: OK folks, Juan Martin del Potro won the toss and chose to receive. Let the ATP World Tour Finals, er, Final begin...

1438: THANK GOODNESS. Boris Becker has negotiated the Sunday traffic and popped into the BBC studio. "Oh my God, don't even go there," he begins. "Two hours from Wimbledon to the O2... What's going on?" Try the Tube next time, BB.

1437: The knock-up music is... Feel by Robbie Williams. I couldn't be more disappointed. I'd like to have heard a bit of Chanson D'Amour.

1432: Here we go then. Emerging from the smoke first up is Nikolay Davydenko, looking cool as you like. I wonder what the knock-up music will be today. Hope they've got something special lined up. And here's Juan Martin del Potro.

From anon via text on 81111: "Del Potro to look exhausted, injured even, after 30 minutes, and still win!"

BBC Sport's Piers Newbery tweeting from the O2: "Trying to think what they can replace London Calling with in 2010. Chas & Dave? Maybe Shane Ritchie would do a turn..."

1425: The BBC team are discussing their favourite memories of the tennis year. Castle goes for Fed winning the French, Henman goes for Roddick's performance in the Wimbledon final. I'm going for Hacker The Dog's search for Sue Barker.

From davidmcbride09 on Twitter: "Hopefully it's going to be another thriller of a match, rankings suggest DelPo will come through, but with NiDav around you never know."

1418: It's not just the ATP World Tour Finals title up for grabs today: it's the coveted world number four spot. Juan Martin del Potro will relegate Andy Murray to fifth place in the world rankings if he wins today.

From redhotbed100 on 606: "I predicted DelPo to win the tourny from the start and I think he'll win this one in straights."

1416: Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air, I know I can count on you… So if you wouldn't mind dropping me a text on 81111, or getting involved on 606 or Twitter, I'd be ever so grateful.

1410: The singles finalists are due on court at 1430 GMT. Just a reminder: this match will be live on BBC Two, streamed on the BBC website (UK only), audio commentary via the BBC website and on BBC 5 live. Erm, or there's little old me.

1407: "It's been the best week of our lives," says Bob Bryan. Or was it Mike? Anyway, they seem very taken with the O2 Arena, which has been incredibly well populated for most of the doubles matches this week.

1403: The presentation ceremony may go on a bit. There's about 100 people for the players to shake hands with. I never thought I'd get bored of hearing London Calling by The Clash, but I think I have reached my limit.

1400: Bob and Mike Bryan are on court at the moment celebrating their win in the doubles final - and ending the year as world number one. A particularly impressive win given that Mike appeared to be suffering from a dicky tummy during the final. Maybe they got the boat in today...

1355: Well hello there. It's the final no one even dared dream might actually come to pass: the Tower of Tandil against the Ironman, DelPo against NiDav, Juan Martin del Potro against Nikolay Davydenko.

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see also
World Tour Finals photos
29 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Battling Del Potro reaches final
28 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Davydenko shocks Federer in semis
28 Nov 09 |  Tennis
World Tour semi-final photos
28 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Davydenko surges into semi-finals
27 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Djokovic reign ends despite win
27 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Nadal upbeat despite losing run
27 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Murray suffers Tour Finals exit
27 Nov 09 |  Tennis
ATP Finals photos
27 Nov 09 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Tennis

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