Nikolay Davydenko has boosted his ATP World Tour finals hopes this week.
Second seed Davydenko can give himself a nice points cushion over his nearest rivals by reaching the final in Valencia. Davydenko’s place seems fairly certain now given that Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is out of the running and Andy Roddick is doubtful as well, unless anything dramatic happens in Paris.
He will be looking to make sure against Mikhail Youzhny in Saturday’s semi-finals. Youzhny has ridden his luck this week, he looked set for an early exit after dropping the first set to Tsonga in round one but then injury set in for the third seed, effectively handing the Russian a place in the next round. Youzhny’s made full use of that lifeline, battling through a three setter with Pablo Cuevas and then securing an impressive 6-4, 6-4 win over Gilles Simon, another player who had an outside chance of scraping into the top eight for London.
Davydenko hasn’t exactly sparkled this week but he’s done enough to get through the rounds. He didn’t play that well against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the quarters but the Spaniard didn’t have enough consistency to exploit that and went down 6-4, 7-6.
Davydenko will be well aware of the threat Youzhny poses having lost their last match in straight sets at the 2008 Australian Open. Youzhny’s game is based around a crunching serve and forehand but along with the explosive shot-making he has a short fuse and he can beat himself at times.
Davydenko is likely to wear Youzhny down with his excellent retrieving ability and he’s 4/9 favourite with Boylesports but if Youzhny comes out firing he has a decent chance of an upset and is a good pick at 2/1 with bet365