Nikolay Davydenko wins Shanghai Masters

09:48, October 19, 2009      

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Nikolay Davydenko wins Shanghai Masters

Nikolay Davydenko of Russia holds his trophy after the final of men's singles against Rafael Nadal of Spain in 2009 Shanghai ATP 1000 Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai, east China, Oct. 18, 2009. Davydenko won the match 2-0. (Xinhua/Ren Long)

Spain's Rafael Nadal admitted he was beaten by the better man after in-form Nikolay Davydenko earned his fourth title of 2009 yesterday with a 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory at the Shanghai Masters.

Playing in only his second event since missing a month with an abdominal muscle strain, Nadal was unable to shrug off the persistent Russian, who took the honors after just more than two hours of tennis.

The match was won on a Nadal forehand ruled long - a call backed up by the electronic linecall.

"He played better than me today," said Nadal, the top seed and world No 2.

"But that's tennis. I will certainly be back next year to try and win here."

The Spaniard had few regrets despite his second loss to Davydenko in a Masters 1000 final after Miami in 2008.

"I'm still happy, I don't like to lose but I had my chances. I think I played a very good match. This was the first time since my injuries that I was competing 100 percent against a top player.

"My attitude and my physical condition were fine, it has been a very good season for me. I'm still working to better my game and I still need to find the calm which will help me win matches."

Four-time Roland Garros champion Nadal has now lost his last two finals, the previous one in Madrid to Roger Federer five months ago.

Conversely, Davydenko has been on a roll since overcoming ankle and foot injuries in the early part of the year which kept him out for nearly three months.

The world No 8, who lost a final here a year ago to Novak Djokovic when Shanghai hosted the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup, finished up a sweep of the tournament's top two having put out Djokovic in the semis.

"It's been a miracle," the 28-year-old Davydenko joked about his recent success. "I've beaten Nadal in two Masters finals, maybe that shows something.

"I've won 18 titles in my career and I find that amazing."

Nadal was unable to get an early lead in a 75-minute opening set, which Davydenko earned in a tiebreaker after losing a break.

"I thought I was losing my chances when he broke me back," said Davydenko. "I was just trying to hold him off, wondering how long I could stay in the match."

The Russian consolidated with the lone break of the second set in the sixth game and sent a winner down the line to set up a match point three games later. "When I broke in the second set, I started to believe I could win.

"I had some luck but I played really well today."

Davydenko has claimed all four of his 2009 titles since July and won Kuala Lumpur a fortnight ago.

He now heads to the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, where he faces a daunting first-round match against retiring compatriot Marat Safin. Winning here means Davydenko remains firmly in the race for one of the last three places in the eight-man ATP World Tour Finals in London next month.

Source: Agencies

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