Federer clinches third Qatar Open crown Updated
January 14, 2011
Roger Federer hammered out his determination to hang on to his Australian Open title when he brushed aside Nikolay Davydenko to regain the Qatar Open crown. Last year the Russian beat the Swiss master on the way to the title.
This time world number two Federer overwhelmed the defending champion, who had put out top seed Rafael Nadal in semi-finals, 6-3, 6-4 to complete the capture of the trophy without dropping a set.
He was assertive, consistent, and very intent on taking his 67th career title and third in Doha. When Davydenko beat Federer here last year, he had not long come from the biggest triumph of his career -- winning the ATP Championships year-end title in London, and he was still on an emotional high.
This time he is re-starting from a season in which he has battled a persistent wrist injury, and slipped out of the world's top 20 for the first time in more than five years.
However Davydenko does look to be playing to a top ten standard, and after being gifted a win over a sick Nadal was clearly keen to make some sort of a mark.
Federer started superbly, not only because he grabbed an immediate psychological advantage with an early break and a 3-0 lead, but because he launched into heavy pressurising attacks straight away.
Blocked returns, slices, and containment rallying were replaced by risk-taking as Federer sought to take charge, something which may be a prototype for a change of emphasis in his attitude in his 30th year.
He soon found that on this occasion his timing was in more than good enough nick to achieve that, and four heavy attacks, with a volley, two forehand drives and a backhand, Davydenko was broken to love.
Even though it meant more time scuttling around retrieving than he really likes, the Russian then kept himself in the fight with three holds of serve, with Federer still looking imperious.