The Spanish duo reach the semi-finals of the Masters Cup.
|Roger Federer continues to dominant Andy Roddick [GALLO/GETTY]|
Defending champion Roger Federer extended his hold over fifth seed Andy Roddick, winning 6-4, 6-2 at the Masters Cup in a match played largely for pride.
Both players already had earned semifinal berths from the Red Group after the fourth-ranked Nikolay Davydenko beat No. 7 Fernando Gonzalez 6-4, 6-3 earlier to eliminate the Chilean.
All that was at stake was determining who they face next in the year-ending tournament for the top eight men in the rankings.
Top-ranked Federer, who improved his career record against Roddick to 15-1, will play second-ranked Rafael Nadal on Saturday, while Roddick meets sixth seed David Ferrer, who went undefeated in the Gold Group.
The match was nearly a repeat of the Australian Open semifinals when Federer blitzed Roddick, allowing the American only six games in three sets.
Because he already had clinched his semifinal place by winning his first two matches, Roddick had said he had no pressure on him this time and hoped he could cut into Federer’s advantage.
It wasn’t to be.
Federer, who had looked in danger after losing his opening match against Gonzalez, was thoroughly dominant.
The Swiss star never faced a break point and blunted Roddick’s powerful first serve and picked on his second one.
He finished with 33 winners to only 13 unforced errors.
Clearly frustrated, Roddick smashed a ball into the stands after losing the first set, then broke his racket by bashing it against his left foot five times when Federer broke him for a 3-0 lead in the second set.
Serving at 5-2, Federer held at love, smashing a clean forehand winner to finish it in 61 minutes.
|Nikolay Davydenko enjoys a hit out before his holiday [GALLO/GETTY]|
Davydenko already had been eliminated from the semifinals by dropping his first two matches.
While inconsistent again, the Russian knocked out Gonzalez, who had hoped to emerge from the Red Group if he won and top-ranked Federer lost.
Davydenko’s victory gives him a little confidence after his earlier losses.
Now he’s looking forward to a couple of days in the sun in the Maldives before starting preparations for Russia’s Davis Cup final against the United States.
“I try mentally to recover and to be a little bit brown,” Davydenko said.
“And then it’s my happy face coming to Davis Cup final.”
Davydenko essentially won a battle of attrition against Gonzalez, who was at the top of his game in beating Federer and then showed his well-known inconsistency by losing his last two matches.
Davydenko was hit or miss throughout the match, with 33 winners offset by 35 unforced errors.
Uncharacteristically, he frequently charged the net, where he either hit a deft volley or looked like a deer caught in the headlights with bad mistakes.
But Gonzalez was even more uneven, and even his stinging forehand let him down.
He smacked a clean winner around the net post for one of only seven forehand winners to 17 unforced errors.
The Chilean’s frustration boiled over when he netted a forehand on break point while serving at 4-5 to concede the first set to Davydenko.
His received a code violation after smashing his racket on the court, then bashing the net post as he walked back to his chair.
“I was a little bit disappointed with myself after losing that set,” Gonzalez said.
“I give everything that I have. I was running a lot. I was playing good tennis, but it wasn’t feeling like I want.”
Davydenko got the final break he needed on his 15th break point of the match as Gonzalez served at 3-4.
The Russian then held serve, hitting a clean volley winner on match point.