October 2, 2009
Davydenko makes Malaysian Open semis
No. 1-seeded Nikolay Davydenko was among the four top seeds at the $945,750 Malaysian Open who claimed straight-set quarterfinal victories Friday.
Davydenko took out fifth-seeded Gaels Monfils 6-3, 6-3 in a solid performance. He was a break down in the second set before a strong finish boosted Davydenko into Saturday's semifinals.
He faces third-seeded Robin Soderling, who was a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Tomas Berdych Friday. Soderling took 52 percent of the points off Berdych's serve while winning 77 percent of the points when he served.
Soderling, ranked No. 11 in the world and just 70 ratings points behind No. 10 Gilles Simon, is looking to crack the Top 10. He owns a 5-2 career record edge over Davydenko. Soderling has won the last four times the two have met.
No. 2-seeded Fernando Verdasco advanced at the expense of Richard Gasquet, winning 7-5, 6-4. At 91 minutes it was the longest match of the quarterfinals.
Fourth-seeded Fernando Gonzalez didn't face a break point en route to a 6-3, 6-4 win over Mikhail Youzhny. Gonzalez lost just 12 points in 10 service games.
Gonzalez has won three of the five times he played Verdasco but four of those matches went three sets.