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Federer, Davydenko To Clash In Rotterdam Semis

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Davydenko© Henk KosterNikolay Davydenko reached his first semi-final of the season.

Top seed Roger Federer advanced to his fourth Rotterdam semi-final, defeating Jarkko Nieminen 7-5, 7-6(2) in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament quarter-finals on Friday. "We both did really well on our on service games, which made it difficult on the return," assessed Federer. "But I played a good breaker."

The World No. 3 did not face a break point and won 86 per cent of his first serve points, firing eight aces. The Swiss took command of the second set tie-break to remain undefeated against Nieminen, winning his 13th consecutive meeting with the Finn. The one hour and 31 minute victory also marked Federer’s 70th win in a row against a player ranked outside the Top 20 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings. "It was good to have a tough match today because I got a walkover in the second round," said Federer. "I have to give Jarrko credit too. He played aggressive on both the forehand and backhand."

Federer is bidding to win his first title of the year, having reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open (l. to Nadal) and Qatar ExxonMobil Open (walkover). He’ll face Nikolay Davydenko for a place in the final, after Davydenko knocked out fifth seed Richard Gasquet 7-5, 6-3 to reach his first semi-final in 2012.

The Russian won 57 per cent of his second serve return points to break Gasquet five times, wrapping up the win in one hour and 38 minutes. "At the beginning, I was nervous. He had a good tactic and was hitting a lot of winners," Davydenko said. "But I played better and better, and had less mistakes as the match went on."

Davydenko has a 2-16 record against Federer, dropping their latest meeting in Doha at the start of the season.

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