Posted by Barrie on Monday, 25 January 2010

Federer and Davydenko Setup Quarter Final Meeting

Nikolay Davydenko eventually prevailed over Fernando Verdasco in the fourth round last night, but not after some mental errors. Meanwhile, Roger Federer played near the top of his game to see off Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets.

The 6th seeded Russian raced into a 2 set lead before I joined after watching the New Orleans Saints book their place in the Superbowl. A mental lapse or a choke, call it what you will and Nikolay Davydenko gave Fernando Verdasco a way back into the match.

The Spaniard finally took an opportunity that was handed to him by taking the third set. He followed that up by winning a fourth set tie break and the previously high-flying Davydenko looked like he may be heading out of the Australian Open.

A key hold early in the final set turned the momentum back in Davydenko's favour before he broke Verdasco's serve and took the final set 6-3 to reach the quarter final for the fourth time at the Australian Open. I bet our tennis expert was mightily relieved by that with the amount he had on it!

In the evening game, Roger Federer played some sublime tennis as he won his 15th straight game against home favourite, Lleyton Hewitt, 6-2 6-3 6-4. The Australian was trying to hang in the match, but the world number 1 refused to let him after he came firing out of the blocks to take the opening two sets with few problems.

Federer slowed up at the end, but Hewitt could not get himself back into the match as last year's runner up here progressed to his sixth straight quarter final appearance at the Australian Open. He has never lost at this stage either and with Davydenko having a huge amount of confidence sucked out of him seemingly, this match may not live up to it's expectations.

Nikolay Davydenko isn't going to lose all of his form overnight, and it is worthwhile noting that he has beat Roger Federer twice in the past two months. But Roger Federer is near the top of his game right now and it would take a monumental effort from Davydenko to upstage him in two days time.

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