Djokovic thrashes Davydenko to win Masters

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> World number three Novak Djokovic thrashed Russia's Nikolay Davydenko 6-1 7-5 in the Masters Cup final on Sunday to lift his second major trophy this year.

Updated: November 16, 2008 13:01 IST
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World number three Novak Djokovic thrashed Russia's Nikolay Davydenko 6-1 7-5 in the Masters Cup final on Sunday to lift his second major trophy this year.

The Australian Open champion fizzed through most of the match at a packed Qi Zhong Stadium and snuffed out a late revival as he ended a six-month title drought at the lucrative season finale.

Djokovic, who becomes the first Serbian year-end champion and takes home 1.24 million dollars in prize money, also moves to within just 10 points of Roger Federer's second rankings spot.

"I certainly put it at the level of the Grand Slams. It's a great achievement for me, I'm so happy," Djokovic said.

With defending champion Federer knocked out and top-ranked Rafael Nadal injured, it was up to Djokovic to add a dash of class to the final and he duly delivered in a clinical first set.

The 21-year-old Serb was immediately spraying backhands past Davydenko and he broke at the first attempt when the Russian netted. Davydenko was in deep trouble when he mis-hit a backhand to go 4-0 down.

Djokovic lifted a perfect lob over Davydenko, who managed just six points in the first five games before finally holding serve 5-1. The Serb briefly wobbled as he served for the set, saving two break points before going ahead after just 32 minutes.

The fifth-ranked Davydenko unfroze at the start of the second set and he won a peach of a point with a savage approach shot and tightly angled backhand volley.

But the Russian's shoulders slumped again as he hit an easy smash wide and was broken again as the backhand volley failed him.

He saved two match points on his serve and then, as Djokovic served for the match, broke for the first time in a sudden resurgence.

However, Djokovic broke back for 6-5 and made no mistake at his second attempt to serve it out, sinking to his knees as Davydenko netted a return at 40-0.

"It's difficult to be positive when you're losing 5-0 and you see you have no chance," Davydenko said.

"When you feel 100 per cent like you're going to lose, it's very difficult to be positive. Normally I play very fast and with good control, and today I didn't."

Djokovic had already beaten Davydenko in the group stage here along with Juan Martin del Potro and downed Gilles Simon in the semi-finals. He lost all three group matches on his debut last year.

The two had only met once before this tournament, when Djokovic retired from their Davis Cup match in February with dizziness and exhaustion.

After the Australian Open, Djokovic won Masters events in Indian Wells and Rome but had not claimed a title since May.

Davydenko is appearing at his fourth straight end-of-year tournament after another busy season when he won more than 50 matches including titles at the Miami Masters, Poertschach and Warsaw.

The Russian, who beat Britain's Andy Murray in the last four, is left waiting for his first top-level title after four Grand Slam semis and nearly three-and-a-half years in top 10.

Belgrade-born Canadian Daniel Nestor and Serbia's Nenad Zimonjic earlier won the doubles title, beating US twins Bob and Mike Bryan 7-6 (7/3), 6-2 in the final.

The USD 4.45 million end-of-season event is making a final appearance in Shanghai before moving to London as the World Tour Final.

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