Nadal, Davydenko reach final of injury-strewn Shanghai Masters
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Rafael Nadal reached the final of the Shanghai Masters after fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez retired with an injured ankle. The world number two faces Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, who battled past Novak Djokovic in the other semi.
AFP- Top seed Rafael Nadal profited from the ninth retirement of this week's Shanghai Masters as he advanced into the final 6-1, 3-0 after fellow Spaniard Feliciano Lopez retired with a right ankle injury.
Nadal, an injury victim himself twice this season and still on his way back to full fitness, will play Sunday for his fourth Masters 1000 title of the season against Nikolay Davydenko.
The Russian, out for nearly three months with a foot and ankle problem, ended a lengthy confrontation by racing through a third-set tiebreak to sweep past second-seed Novak Djokovic 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/1).
Nadal has already qualified for the eight-man ATP World Tour Finals in London from November 22, while Davydenko moved into provisional seventh in the chase for one of the last three spots.
Nadal and Davydenko last met in April in Barcelona, with the Spaniard emerging victorious.
"Feliciano told me he hurt his ankle in the last point of the first set," Nadal revealed.
"But I'm in the final and that's good for me. It's the first final since my comeback, so I'm very happy.
"Davydenko is playing well with a lot of rhythm. I'll have to play my best to beat him."
The Spaniard dominated against his compatriot over 50 minutes, with the outsider holding his first serve to love and then producing little as his physical problems wore him down.
Nadal is seeking his first title since Rome in May and the sixth of this season.
Lopez, followed Andy Roddick, Juan Del Potro and six others in failing to finish a match here because of injury, prompting calls from players for the 11-month ATP season to be shortened.
Earlier, the first semi-final was a replay of last year's final here at the Tennis Masters Cup, which Djokovic won.
"I played a great match but he was too good. But I've had a great two weeks in China," the Serbian said.
Davydenko said it had been a battle. "Today was long and heavy -- three hours. It's pretty slow here.
"We had many rallies, just playing baseline, forehand, backhand. That was all for three hours," he added.
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