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Davydenko Captures Third Austrian Title Over Monaco

Pörtschach, Austria

Nikolay Davydenko© GEPA Pictures/ATP PoertschachNikolay Davydenko

Top seed Nikolay Davydenko captured his third Austrian title in four years Saturday at the Hypo Group Tennis International in Poertschach as he defeated No. 2 seed and defending champion Juan Monaco 6-2, 2-6, 6-2.

The 26-year-old Russian improved his career record to 13-4 in ATP finals by picking up his second title of the season. Last month he won the ATP Masters Series title in Miami. He also reached the final in Estoril (l. to Federer).

Davydenko raced out to a quick lead by breaking Monaco in the first and fifth games of the opening set. The 24-year-old Buenos Aires resident took control of the second set by breaking in the second game and adding another break in the eighth game. In the final set, Davydenko broke in the third and fifth games to take control and cruise to his 34th match win of the season (34-9).

It was the third career meeting between the top two seeds. Davydenko won their first meeting on clay in Sopot two years ago before Monaco was victorious in their quarterfinal clash in Pörtschach last year.

Davydenko converted five of 10 break points while saving four of seven on his serve. Davydenko won 57% of second serve points compared to Monaco's 41% in the two hours and five minute match.

In his previous two title runs in Poertschach, Davydenko only lost one set in 10 matches. This week he was pushed to three sets three times, including twice on Thursday when he played his second round and quarterfinal matches. Davydenko owns a 23-4 career record. He also was runner-up in 2003.

World No. 14 Monaco was appearing in his sixth career ATP final (3-3), all on clay. Last year he two of his three titles in Austria, in Poertschach and Kitzbuhel. In February, Monaco was forced to withdraw with an ankle injury before his final match against Fernando Gonzalez in Vina del Mar.

En route to the final this week, Monaco saved three match points in his semifinal victory over Ivan Ljubicic.

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