Davydenko wants to work on his clay confidence

April 17th, 2008 - 2:02 pm ICT by admin  

Estoril (Portugal), April 17 (DPA) World No.4 Nikolay Davydenko said he needs to lift his clay game after staging a Wednesday fight-back to reach the quarter-finals of the Estoril Open 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 over Czech Ivo Minar. “At this moment, I don’t have particularly good confidence. I need more matches on the clay,” said Davydenko. “I was leading 4-1 in the third set, but I was still not sure of my winning chances.

“I don’t feel so great on the court right now. I need to play more to fully prepare on the clay.”

Davydenko now 22-5, won the Miami title this month for his second Masters crown. He also helped Russia into the Davis Cup semi-finals at the weekend, playing indoors on clay in Moscow.

Roger Federer’s chances of coming on board for Switzerland’s Davis Cup team for September’s World Group playoffs were boosted sharply after the draw in London handed the former finalists a tie with Belgium in Switzerland.

“The chances are very good that I will play,” said Federer, top seed this week in his first clay of the season at the Estoril Open.

“I’m proud the team could win over Belarus (last weekend) without me. It’s a great effort. I’d love to get Switzerland back into the World Group. I’d say my decision is pretty much taken.”

Federer is in Estoril with Davis Cup coach Severin Luethi and Spain’s Jose Higueras, who is being trialled as a coach this week for the clay court season.

Federer, yet to lift a trophy so far after four events in 2008, is keen to win the French Open, the lone Grand Slam to have eluded him.

“I hope I can then get on a roll. I hope Estoril will pay off and I can do well at other events, especially Roland Garros,” he said.

Federer could have a clear run to a confidence boosting title, with no Top-50 player remaining in his top half of the 32-man draw at the Estadio Nacional.

In second-round play, French seventh seed Marc Gicquel advanced over compatriot Thierry Ascione 7-6 (7-2), 6-3.

Women’s top seed Flavia Pennetta of Italy was upset by Czech Iveta Benesova 6-2, 6-2 while eighth seed Camille Pin of France defeated Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-3, 6-4 for a quarterfinal spot.

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