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  • Ferrer, Davydenko in action at Qatar ExxonMobil Open

    1/3/13 8:22 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Ferrer, Davydenko in action at Qatar ExxonMobil Open David Ferrer and Nikolay Davydenko will be looking for semifinal spots in Doha on Thursday. They are set for respective meetings with and Paolo Lorenzi and Simone Bolelli.

    (1) David Ferrer vs. Paolo Lorenzi

    Ferrer and Lorenzi have played a combined 23 years on the ATP World Tour, but the two veterans will be facing each other for the first time when they clash in the Qatar ExxonMobil Open quarterfinals on Thursday. This is already a hard-court breakout of sorts for Lorenzi, who generally does his only productive work on clay. The 64th-ranked Italian earned his 15th and 16th ATP-level victories of his career by dismissing Albert Ramos and Lukas Rosol.

    For Ferrer, meanwhile, this is nothing more than business as usual. The top-seeded Spaniard had a tough match against an in-form Dustin Brown (Ferrer won 5-7, 6-3, 6-2) but went into cruise control with a 6-3, 6-2 ousting of Tobias Kamke on Wednesday. Ferrer, who is coming off a 2012 campaign in which he compiled a 76-15 record, should roll in straight sets.

    Nikolay Davydenko vs. Simone Bolelli

    Bolelli and Davydenko will be going head-to-head for the fourth time in their careers and for the first time since 2009 when they battle for a semifinal spot on Thursday in Doha. Davydenko has won all three previous encounters, including one on a hard court (a 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-1 victory at the 2008 Miami Masters). The 31-year-old Russian is off to a good start this season with wins over Victor Hanescu and fourth-seeded Mikhail Youzhny.

    Neither man could have been expected even to reach the quarterfinals; especially not Bolelli. The 84th-ranked Italian won only a single hard-court match in the main draw of an ATP event last season. He already owns two in 2013 after defeating both Daniel Gimeno-Traver and Lukas Kubot in three sets. The surface benefits Davydenko, so the veteran should prevail in three.

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