Federer draws Davydenko in Doha

If World No. 3 Roger Federer wants to defend his title at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, he’ll first have to get past the player he defeated in the 2011 final, Nikolay Davydenko. “There is a bit of pressure on my shoulders being the defending champion,” admitted Federer. “But I’ve been in this situation many times before, so I hope it goes well.”

Federer topped the Russian 6-3, 6-4 last year to claim his third trophy at the event. “It’s strange to have played him in the final last year and now the first round this year,” said Federer. “But other players also have tough draws.”

Davydenko, whose South African Airways ATP Ranking has slipped to No. 41, is just 2-15 against Federer. He did however knock off the Swiss in the Doha semi-finals two years ago en route to lifting his 20th singles crown, upsetting Rafael Nadal in the 2010 title match. “Knowing Davydenko’s potential, that he’s been a very consistent Top 4 player for many years, it makes him dangerous,” Federer stated.

The 30-year-old Federer is riding a 17-match win streak following an impressive display of form to close out the 2011 season. He won titles at the ATP World Tour 500 event in Basel, BNP Paribas Masters in Paris, and a record sixth year-end championship at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. His run enabled him to overtake Andy Murray at No. 3 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings. “I am feeling good. I had a great end to the season last year and I usually have a good start to the next season as well,” said Federer.

“Then again, the player field is really tough here. Like in past years, Doha is able to get the top players to come.”

Date: 02.02.2012, Source: ATP


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