Defending champ Djokovic downs Davydenko again | sports | Hindustan Times
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Defending champ Djokovic downs Davydenko again

Defending champion Novak Djokovic handed Nikolay Davydenko another painful defeat at the ATP World Tour Finals as the Serb secured a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory on Monday.

sports Updated: Nov 25, 2009 00:53 IST

Defending champion Novak Djokovic handed Nikolay Davydenko another painful defeat at the ATP World Tour Finals as the Serb secured a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory on Monday.

Djokovic beat Davydenko to win the final of this prestigious end-of-year event 12 months ago and the world number three, who had also defeated the Russian in the group stage last year, came from behind to frustrate him again in his opening Group B match at London's O2 Arena.

Robin Soderling's surprise victory over Rafael Nadal earlier on Monday had thrown the group wide open and Djokovic looks in the mood to mount a strong bid to retain the title.

After suffering a slump in the aftermath of his 2008 Australian Open triumph, Djokovic has been in supreme form of late. The 22-year-old has reached a career-best 10 finals this year and since September's US Open he has collected three ATP Tour titles and won 18 of his 19 matches.

Djokovic's solitary defeat during that remarkable run came against Davydenko in the semi-finals in Shanghai.

Davydenko's accuracy kept Djokovic from taking control and the world number six got the first break in the fifth game.

There was a glimmer of hope for Djokovic in the next game as he earned two break points but squandered both opportunities.

That proved the Serb's last chance of the set as Davydenko broke again in the ninth game to move in front.

Both men were playing with an intensity far greater than anything shown by Nadal and Federer in their opening matches.

Paes-Dlouhy lose opener

Leander Paes and Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy's chances of making the knockout stage of the ATP World Tour Finals' doubles event suffered a jolt after they were handed a straight-set defeat by debutants Lukasz Kubot and Oliver Marach in their opening Group B match here.

The fourth-seeded pair went down 3-6 6-7 (3) to the sixth-seeded Polish-Austrian rivals and will now be up against second seeds Bob and Mike Bryan of the USA.

The American twins also started their campaign on a disappointing note as they lost 4-6 4-6 to seventh seeds Max Mirnyi and Andy Ram in their opening match.