April 26, 2006

Davydenko overpowered by Karlovic in Barcelona

By Simon Cambers

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Nikolay Davydenko's hopes of winning
the Barcelona Open were blown away as the second seed lost 6-7,
7-5, 6-4 to Croat Ivo Karlovic on Wednesday.

The Russian snatched the first set on a tiebreak but
Karlovic hammered 19 aces, including eight in the final set, to
set up a third-round clash with compatriot Evgeny Korolev.

Davydenko, a semi-finalist at the French Open last year,
could not cope with the Karlovic serve, failing to convert any
of his six break points.

Former French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero outslugged
fellow Spaniard Alberto Martin 6-4, 7-6 to reach the last 16.

The 10th seed, runner-up to Rafael Nadal last year, was a
break down at 4-3 in the first set but bounced back with three
games in succession to move ahead.

Ferrero, the world number 28, led 3-0 in the second but
Martin hit back to force a tiebreak only for his compatriot to
romp through it 7-1.

Ferrero will next meet either another former French Open
champion from Spain, Albert Costa, who is due to retire after
the tournament, or eighth seed Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia.

Ninth seed Tomas Berdych was another casualty, losing 7-6,
6-3 to unseeded Spaniard Albert Portas, while Finn Jarkko
Nieminen and Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu also made the last

Korolev booked his clash with Davydenko thanks to a 6-3,
6-0 demolition of Spaniard Fernando Vicente.

Later on Wednesday, top seed and French Open champion Nadal
begins the defense of his title with a second-round match
against fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.