Federer, Davydenko through to Estoril Open tennis semi-final

April 19th, 2008 - 12:03 pm ICT by admin  

Estoril (Portugal), April 19 (DPA) Second seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia had to overcome a stiff resistance from Frenchman Marc Gicquel to advance to the semi-finals of the Estoril Open tennis tournament here. The Russian defeated Gicquel 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in the quarter-final Friday and thereby registered his 10th straight victory, a run which began last month at the Miami Masters.

Davydenko moved closer to a potential seeded final against top seed Roger Federer, who calmly negotiated two rain interruptions as he crushed local hero Frederico Gil 6-4, 6-1.

“I don’t expect to win 6-0, 6-0, he’s in the quarters and had to beat some players,” said Federer.

“He’s playing on home soil also, that makes it more difficult ever for me.

“You expect a player ranked where he is to make some mistakes and be a bit nervous. But it was only after second rain delay that I felt I had the edge.”

The world number one Swiss will next play German Denis Gremelmayr, who beat Czech Jiri Vanek 6-2, 3-6, 6-2, while Davydenko will be up against Florent Serra, who thrashed Italian Flavio Cipolla 6-1, 6-1 in the other quarter-final.

Davydenko admitted that he’s running out of energy after his Miami title and Davis Cup victories for Russia at the weekend.

“I was nervous today on the court, maybe due to the weather, maybe after playing so much. I didn’t know what to do out there. I think I’m mentally tired.

“Every time I made a mistake, I just felt crazy,” said Davydenko after the match.

Federer and Gil were forced to the clubhouse for more than 30 minutes midway through the opening set and for almost that long at the third game of the second.

Federer won the first set after giving up one break but closing with another. But the improbable conditions also sent him crashing to a service breakdown as he began the second set.

The top seed got that one back and returned after the second interruption with all guns firing as he swept to the victory, wrapping things up with his fifth ace.

“He played well for set and a half. Thank god I came back from the second rain delay and had the right game plan. I had to play a really good match today to win,” said Federer.

On the women’s side, second seed Maria Kirilenko of Russia advanced into the semis defeating Italian Tatiana Garbin 6-0, 6-1, while Czech Iveta Benesova beat eighth seed French Camille Pin 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.

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