SHANGHAI Nov 13 Russia's Nikolay Davydenko
would rather take on Briton Andy Murray than Roger Federer in
the semi-finals of the Masters Cup, even though the ailing Swiss
has been well below his best at the season finale.
Davydenko beat Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3 6-2 on Thursday to
clinch his place in the last four at the $4.45 million season
finale, where he will meet the winner of the other round robin
Defending champion Federer, who has been suffering from a
stomach upset, will win the group if he beats the in-form Murray
on Friday. If Murray triumphs, the Scot will top the group,
Federer will go out and Gilles Simon qualifies in second place.
"Murray is playing very good tennis in the moment," said
Davydenko, the world number five.
"I have had much better results against Murray because this
year I won one and I lost one but against Federer I have a 12-0
record. I never win.
"So against Murray I have more chance. It doesn't matter how
Murray plays, I have more chance. Federer is not playing his
best tennis but you never know. Federer is a different guy every
With the likes of Murray and Serbian Novak Djokovic, both
21, in the Masters Cup semi-finals and 23-year-old Simon in with
a chance of joining them, some are talking about a new
generation of tennis players ready to take over the game.
The 27-year-old Russian, who is playing his fourth Masters
Cup, said he did not think the balance of power had shifted just
"New generation? I don't know," he said. "I don't think
tennis is that different at the moment. I see these guys have
good baseline and can run all match with good concentration. I
don't see any change.
"Federer played the best tennis I've seen," he added. "But
other guys I don't see it really, not yet. Maybe in the future
Simon, who beat Federer in his opening match, plays Czech
Radek Stepanek -- the replacement for injury withdrawal Andy
Roddick -- in his final group game on Friday but his result will
have no bearing at all on whether he qualifies or not.
(Editing by Alan Baldwin)