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Federer crushes Davydenko to reach final

Written by: Staff

NEW YORK, Sep 9 (Reuters) Defending champion Roger Federer crushed Nikolay Davydenko 6-1 7-5 6-4 today to reach the U S Open final.

The world number one, looking for his third consecutive U S Open title, crushed the Russian seventh seed in one hour 43 minutes to become the first man in the Open Era to reach six straight grand slam finals.

''I played a great first set and I thought I played really well today,'' Federer said.

''Again in the final is a great feeling and it's great to be in the final of all four majors this year.'' The Swiss set the tone by breaking in the second game as he cruised through the first set in 22 minutes, keeping Davydenko off balance with a series of short, sliced backhands.

Davydenko recovered early breaks in the second and third sets but it was not enough to stop Federer cruising through to a final on Sunday against ninth-seeded American Andy Roddick or another Russian, Mikhail Youzhny.

Davydenko had never beaten Federer in seven previous meetings though he pushed him to a fourth-set tiebreak in their last match, in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Today, he was never allowed to find his rhythm as Federer varied the pace and angle of his attacks.

''In Australia, I had control from the baseline but today he was hitting too fast,'' Davydenko said.

''Today was short points and he tried to hit faster. It's really different tennis. He's number one. That's why I think he's winning everything, because he plays completely different.'' Having reached his second grand-slam semi-final, Davydenko said he was satisfied with his efforts.

''Okay, I'm happy to be in the semi-finals. I am disappointed with my play, but not for losing.'' REUTERS AD RN0153

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