• Gaquet, Davydenko battle for Doha title

    1/4/13 7:12 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Gaquet, Davydenko battle for Doha title The first ATP title of 2012 comes down to Richard Gasquet and Nikolay Davydenko on Saturday in Doha. Davydenko is coming off a straight-set destruction of world No. 5 David Ferrer.

    Richard Gasquet and Nikolay Davydenko will be squaring off for the sixth time in their careers when they collide in the final of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Saturday.

    Gasquet leads the head-to-head series 3-2, including 2-1 on hard courts. He cruised in straight sets at the 2010 U.S. Open and the 2012 Montpellier ATP event, but Davydenko prevailed most recently with a 7-5, 6-3 victory on the indoor hard courts of Rotterdam. Their first two encounters came on clay back in 2005.

    Davydenko's run to the title match--and especially the fashion in which he has made the run--has come almost out of nowhere. The 31-year-old was in the Top 10 as recently as October of 2010, but he went a combined 49-49 over the past two seasons and dropped as low as 56th in the world in 2012. This week, however, Davydenko rolled over Victor Hanescu, Mikhail Youzhny, and Simone Bolelli then thrashed top-seeded David Ferrer 6-2, 6-3.

    Gasquet, on the other hand, is building on a solid 2012 campaign. The Frenchman scored 42 wins compared to 22 losses and climbed to No. 10 in the world. So far in Doha he has taken out Jan Hernych, Grega Zemlja (in a third-set tiebreaker), Lukas Lacko, and Daniel Brands.

    If Davydenko plays like he did on Friday, he is going to win--plain and simple. Gasquet has the talent to compete with his opponent's best level, but if the Russian's Doha magic was going to run out, it probably would have run out against Ferrer. Look for Davydenko to capture his second Doha title in his third appearance.

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Davydenko hitting the cover off the ball. Wowee.

cherylmurray , 1/5/13 4:55 PM

Mohamed Lahyani is having a bad day.

stratocast51 , 1/5/13 5:30 PM

injury timeout

RickyDimon , 1/5/13 6:17 PM

GSMC Gasquet

RickyDimon , 1/5/13 6:51 PM

Gasquet beat Davy in three. The final set was a dog fight. Gasquet was in the zone.

nadline , 1/5/13 6:51 PM

Congrats to Gasquet! Hope he consolidates his place in the top ten this year. Well done and a good start for 2013. Oh well done to Davy too, for reaching the final.

luckystar , 1/5/13 7:14 PM

It's nice to see Gasquet start off the year with a win. For Davy this also has to be a very good result. We haven't seen him in finals of late.

Nativenewyorker , 1/6/13 2:52 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
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