Flawless Davydenko downs Haas
Nikolay Davydenko reaches the US Open semis without dropping a set as he outplays Germany's Tommy Haas 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.Updated: Sep 06, 2007, 22:15 IST
Nikolay Davydenko reached the US Open semifinals without dropping a set on Wednesday as he outplayed Germany's Tommy Haas 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.
In so doing, the fourth-seeded Russian set up a possible rematch against Roger Federer, against whom he lost in last year's semis, should the top seed defeat the remaining home hope, Andy Roddick, in the top game of the night session.
The 26-year-old Davydenko went into the last eight as the only man not to have dropped a set and he never looked like losing that record against a subdued Haas, who had to endure two tough five-setters to get that far.
"If I play less then that is good for me," he said. "I need to be strong physically to take on Federer or Roddick. I need to play perfect."
Haas was first out of the blocks in the opening match of the men's quarter-finals, breaking early to take a 2-0 lead.
But the lightning-quick Davydenko soon imposed his relentless rhythm on the German, who found himself under increasing pressure and started making a string of unforced errors.
The Russian won six out of the next seven games to take the first set 6-1 and then he grabbed another break to move 4-1 up in the second as he clamped a stranglehold on the match.
Davydenko was easily dictating play from the baseline with Haas trying to find a way of shortening the rallies.
The 29-year-old German did get a break back with some inventive play at the net but he gave that back right away as Davydenko raced away with the second set.
Haas was hanging on for dear life as the players exchanged four service breaks from 2-2 in the third.
But when Davydenko made it five breaks in a row to lead 5-4, Haas reacted with frustration by blasting a ball out of the stadium.
A few minutes later it was all over as Davydenko comfortably closed out the match on serve.
Haas paid tribute to the Russian saying that he had dominated the match with his accurate and penetrating ground strokes.
"At times he makes you try to do too much. That got to me mentally. Every time I tried to do something different he came up with an answer. I don't know how he does it," he said.
Davydenko has now lost just 39 games in reaching the semi-finals of a Grand Slam event for the fourth time - twice at the French Open in 2005 and 2007 along with his last-four appearance in New York last year.
But he will need to step up a gear if he is to reach his first Grand Slam final as he has lost all nine matches he has played against Federer and all four he has played against Roddick.
The two remaining quarter-finals, scheduled for Thursday, will send third seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia against Spanish veteran Carlos Moya and Spain's David Ferrer against Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina.