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Davydenko Rolls Back Years To Beat Ferrer; Plays Gasquet In Doha Final

Doha, Qatar

Gasquet© AFP/Getty ImagesRichard Gasquet has advanced to his 18th ATP World Tour final.

Nikolay Davydenko has not dropped a set en route to the Qatar ExxonMobil Open final this week.

The 31-year-old Russian did not face a break point in defeating World No. 5 David Ferrer 6-2, 6-3 in 65 minutes on Friday. He will next play second-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who has a 3-2 record against Davydenko in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

"Physically I was strong," said Davydenko. "[My] concentration was good. I fought for every point [in the first set].  [The] second set was a little bit tougher. I would like to beat everybody who is in the Top 10. It doesn't matter if I'm not there.

It was Davydenko’s 25th match win in Doha, where he won the title in 2010 (d. Nadal), and broke a 15-match losing streak against opponents in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. He is now 4-2 lifetime against Ferrer and will be looking to capture his 22nd ATP World Tour title on Saturday.

“He played better than me all the time,” said Ferrer, who will next compete at the Heineken Open in Auckland. “He served better. He received better. He was better. I didn't have any chances in the match. Davydenko is a very good player. He was Top 10 a long time.”

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Gasquet saved all three break points he faced to beat German qualifier Daniel Brands 7-5, 7-5 in one hour and 38 minutes. World No. 153 Brands hit 10 aces in his third ATP World Tour semi-final.

Gasquet reached the 18th ATP World Tour final of his career (7-10). Last year, the Frenchman picked up his seventh title at the PTT Thailand Open in Bangkok and finished in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time since 2007.

When asked whether he could break into the Top 5 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, Gasquet said, “I will try to do my best. I don't know what I can do this year. But in every match, I will try to fight, I will try to prepare better [for the] Grand Slams and win some tournaments. To start in Doha, [by reaching] the final is important."

Said Brands, “I’m very happy with my game. It was probably one of my best tournaments, I am happy with my performance and I am looking forward to the next few weeks.”

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