Federer Wrests Crown from Davydenko at Doha

by John on January 8, 2011

Roger Federer began the new year just like he finished the old one — winning a tournament. Playing with machine-like efficiency, the No.2-seeded Federer dispatched defending champion Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-4 earlier today in the final of the Qatar Open at Doha, one of three season-opening tournaments this week. The win, coupled with Federer’s triumph at the ATP World Tour Finals in November, gives the Swiss Maestro, at the very least, co-favorite status with Rafael Nadal heading into the Australian Open, which starts a week from Monday. Davydenko, who defeated a sub-par Nadal in the semifinals yesterday, was looking to pull off a Nadal-Federer double for the second year in a row. Last year, the Russian defeated Federer in the semis and saved two match points to edge Nadal in the final. The title was Federer’s third at Doha and the 67th of his career. “It feels fantastic,” said Federer, who didn’t drop a set in five matches during the tournament. “I have had a good week. I really appreciate the support I get here. I have had good preparation. I can’t believe that I am on the board already this year.” Federer served impeccably, winning 79 percent of his first service points and an incredible 76 percent on his second. The Swiss had 25 winners to Davydenko’s 18 and commited just 15 unforced errors to the Russian’s 18. “Today he was tough, really played fast,” said Davydenko, seeded fourth and now ranked No. 22 in the world after an injury-plagued 2010 campaign. . “He gave me no chance on the return, and also he was returning good. His first serve was very good. My tennis is OK, really. I don’t want to say I played bad today.” Federer never faced a break point in the match and was only broken once during the week. Davydenko dropped to 2-15 against Federer. When asked about his chances at the Australian Open, a smiling Federer said, “I am not ready now. I will be when I get there. But obviously, the wins here will help me build my rhythm (in Australia). I don’t consider this event as a preparation event. There’s a week to go before the Australian Open and that week will be my preparation time.”

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