• Djokovic battles Davydenko in Cincinnati third round

    8/16/12 2:55 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Djokovic battles Davydenko in Cincinnati third round Novak Djokovic will be back in action on Thursday at the Cincinnati Masters 1000. He is set to face Nikolay Davydenko for a place in the quarterfinals.

    Novak Djokovic and Nikolay Davydenko will be squaring off for the eighth time in their careers when they do battle in round three of the Western & Southern Open on Thursday afternoon.

    Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 5-2, and all seven of their previous encounters have come on hard courts. They most recently faced each other at last year's U.S. Open, where Djokovic rolled 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.

    Davydenko is inconsistent at best as a 31-year-old, so he has never been a bigger underdog against Djokovic than he is in this one. The Russian is struggling down at No. 50 in the world and prior to Cincinnati he had not won more than a single match at any of his last five tournaments. But it may be turning around for Davydenko, who annihilated Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1, 6-1 before ousting Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-3 on Wednesday.

    Djokovic just won the Toronto Masters last Sunday, but he did not show any signs of wear and tear in his opener on Wednesday. The second-ranked Serb defeated Andreas Seppi 7-6(4), 6-2 as he extended his 2012 record to 51-9.

    Davydenko has been competitive with Djokovic at times, but a pair of 2011 meetings (both blowouts) are more indicative of the current situation. This is not a good matchup for the underdog, because Djokovic can do everything Davydenko can do except better. Count on the No. 2 seed ending Davydenko's week in straight sets.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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