• Ferrer, Davydenko clash in Valencia quarterfinals

    11/4/11 1:16 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Ferrer, Davydenko clash in Valencia quarterfinals A baseline battle between David Ferrer and Nikolay Davydenko is set for Friday in Valencia. They are fighting for a spot in the semifinals.

    David Ferrer and Nikolay Davydenko will be squaring off for the fifth time in their careers when they collide in the quarterfinals of the Valencia Open 500 on Friday.

    Davydenko leads the head-to-head series 3-1, including 2-0 on hard courts, having won three in a row against Ferrer. They most recently faced each other at the 2010 Cincinnati Masters, where Davydenko survived 4-6, 6-3, 7-5.

    One year later, Ferrer is on course to start turning the tide against his opponent. The fifth-ranked Spaniard is an outstanding 53-15 for the season after making quick work of both Fernando Verdasco and Vasek Pospisil so far this week. Ferrer is 10-2 since the U.S. Open, with a semifinal showing in Tokyo and a runner-up performance at the Shanghai Masters.

    Davydenko, on the other hand, is nearing the merciful finish line of a lackluster 2011 campaign. The 30-year-old Russian is a mediocre 25-23 for the year, during which he won a total of three matches in four Grand Slam appearances. Davydenko ousted Gilles Simon 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 on Monday before getting a walkover past Nicolas Mahut.

    While Davydenko has the edge in history between the two players, Ferrer has a massive advantage in current form. At the very least, Davydenko should be able to make this entertaining simply because the baseline rallies are likely to be exhausting. Still, Ferrer in straight sets is the pick.

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1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
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