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August 1, 2009

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Davydenko wins, Ferrer falls in Croatia

FRESH off winning the German Open last weekend, top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko eased into the Croatia Open quarterfinals by beating Alberto Martin of Spain 6-2, 6-3 in Umag on Thursday.

Davydenko's victory in Hamburg was his 15th career title and returned him into the top 10 at No. 9. After being injured for nearly the first four months, the Russian has won 15 of his last 18 matches.

In the quarterfinals, he will face Simone Bolelli of Italy, who defeated compatriot Fabio Fognini, 6-3, 6-4.

Second-seeded David Ferrer of Spain was out, however, upset by Nicolas Massu of Chile 6-4, 2-6, 4-6.

Massu, ranked 85th, came from 2-4 down in the third set to beat the former Umag finalist after 2 hours, 16 minutes. The win was Massu's first over a top-20 opponent since February 2008.

Massu will next meet seventh-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy, who beat Frederico Gil of Portugal 7-5, 7-6 (5).

Fifth-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero overcame Potito Starace of Italy 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 in what he hopes will become a nice coincidence.

Ferrero won his first ATP title in six years in April at Casablanca, and in both Casablanca and Umag, he defeated Christophe Rochus of Belgium in the first round, and Starace in the second round.

However, his quarterfinal opponent will be different. The former No. 1 will meet Maximo Gonzalez of Argentina, who ousted Oscar Hernandez of Spain 6-4, 6-4.

In Los Angeles, Argentina's Leonardo Mayer pulled off the third upset of seeded players at this week's LA Open, eliminating fifth-ranked Russian Igor Kunitsyn 7-6 (5), 6-7 (7), 6-3 in the second round on Thursday.

Seventh-seeded German Benjamin Becker and third seed Dmitry Tursunov of Russia had been knocked out earlier in the week.

Mayer squandered a 5-2 lead in the second set, his opponent fighting back to clinch the tiebreak 9-7, before wrapping up the third to seal victory in two hours, 43 minutes at the LA Tennis Center.

The 22-year-old Argentine will next face second-seeded American Mardy Fish, who survived a few anxious moments before beating Aussie wildcard Chris Guccione 6-7 (3), 7-6 (12), 6-4.

Fish saved two match points in the second set tiebreak before edging through 14-12 and then broke his big-serving opponent in the first game of the third set en route to victory in two hours, 22 minutes.

In other matches, fourth-seeded Israeli Dudi Sela shrugged off the loss of the second set to beat American Robert Kendrick 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 and Sam Querrey held off a spirited fightback by fellow American Ryan Sweeting to win 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3.


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