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Davydenko Denies Mayer To Claim 21st Title

Munich, Germany

Nikolay Davydenko© Bongarts/Getty ImagesNikolay Davydenko won the Munich title for the second time.

Former World No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko captured his 21st ATP World Tour title on Sunday as he defeated German No. 1 Florian Mayer 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 in the final of the BMW Open by FWU Takaful in Munich.

As champion of the ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tennis tournament, Davydenko earned 250 South African Airways 2011 ATP Ranking points and €68,850 in prize money. In addition, he received a brand new BMW 1 Series Convertible and two business class tickets to South Africa (courtesy of South African Airways).

It is the second time Davydenko has triumphed in Munich, having lifted his third ATP World Tour trophy in the Bavarian capital in 2004 with victory over Martin Verkerk. He has won at least one ATP World Tour title for nine straight years.

"In finals I just feel stronger, more relaxed, my confidence is very high and I just go out there fighting," said Davydenko in assessing his 21-6 finals record. "It was a very important result here (to return to the Top 30) and I’m just so happy."

As well as returning Davydenko to the Top 30 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings, the right-hander’s victory keeps the BMW Open trophy in Russian hands, with Mikhail Youzhny having won the title last season. Beyreuth native Mayer was bidding to become the fifth German winner in Munich since 1974.

In the second ATP World Tour final Davydenko and Mayer have contested, the Russian gained the upperhand as he saved the five break points he faced in the first set, while converting one of his four opportunities to take a one-set lead.

The fifth-seeded Mayer struck back in the second set with one break of serve to level the match, but two service breaks by Davydenko in the deciding set saw the Russian break away and seal victory in one hour and 49 minutes. Davydenko had also beaten Mayer in the 2006 Sopot final.

"At the beginning I played solid, but then maybe I lost concentration," admitted Davydenko. "I thought I was winning easily and then he started to play better. For sure it was not so easy to come back in the second set. Then I started concentrating better at the beginning of the third set, fighting for every point and 6-1 for me was a very good result."

The 29-year-old Davydenko has dropped to No. 40 in the South African Airways 2011 ATP Rankings after a slump in form following his return from a fractured left wrist early in the 2010 season. The right-hander opened the season strongly, defeating Rafael Nadal to reach the final in Doha (l. to Federer), but since then had won back-to-back tour-level matches only once. He improved to a 13-9 match record on the season.

World No. 35 Mayer was looking to win his first ATP World Tour title and dropped to a 0-4 mark in finals. He also lost out in the 2005-2006 Sopot finals and in the Stockholm title match in 2010. He had advanced to his first ATP World Tour final on home soil for the loss of just one set.

"It was a fantastic week," said Mayer. "Of course I'm a little disappointed losing the final, but I see the positives this week. I had never won a match here in Munich coming in to this year's tournament. I had very difficult opponents in my four finals playing [Roger] Federer, [Gael] Monfils and Davydenko twice. It could certainly have been easier opponents but it's nothing I can change.

"It's a great feeling to break into the Top 30 for the first time in my career, now I want to go even higher."

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