Davydenko won’t speculate on his clay fate against NadalApril 24th, 2009 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS
Barcelona, April 24 (DPA) Russian Nikolay Davydenko checked in for another successful work day on the clay Friday while Rafael Nadal took advantage of a quarter-final walkover as the pair prepared for a Saturday semi-final clash at the Barcelona Open.
Top-seeded world number one Nadal put in some practise time after learning the day before that seventh-seeded Argentine opponent David Nalbandian would not be fronting up for their match due to hip problems which intensified during the previous round.
Davydenko, playing for only the second week in succession on the ATP after dealing with a heel injury which forced him from the Australian Open as well as Masters 1000 play in March, was busy on the clay honing his game.
The world number eight grappled with the aggressive, uncomfortable style of Radek Stepanek for two and a quarter-hours before emerging with a confidence-building 6-7(4-7), 6-2, 6-2 quarter-final win.
“I’m not thinking just now about playing Rafa,” said former number three Davydenko, who stands 2-3 against the king of clay from Mallorca.
“You never know about tomorrow, but I’m not gonna worry about it now. I’m going to relax and enjoy my life. Hopefully, playing him will help my game so that I can improve even more next week in Rome.
“You can says the odds for Rafa are 100 per cent,” he said as he refused to speculate on tactics for his near-impossible weekend task against the four-time tournament champion.
Davydenko is putting no pressure on himself, letting his comeback move at its own speed. He reached a Monte Carlo quarter-final last week and has already bettered that with the final four in Barcelona.
The Barcelona week is only his second back on a regular schedule and his progress is rapid after a Monte Carlo quarter-final last week.
“I’m very happy with my results. I’m playing well now but my form is not ready for a Grand Slam - at least not yet.”
Tags: april 24, atp, australian open, clash, david nalbandian, dpa, final four, grand slam, mallorca, monte carlo, nikolay davydenko, number eight, opponent, quarter hours, radek stepanek, rafa, rafael nadal, time tournament, tournament champion, walkover