Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ace Federer Rewrites the Record Books as He Battles His Way to Final; French Open Tennis Championships: Chris Jones Sees World No1 Reach Eighth Successive Slam Showpiece

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ace Federer Rewrites the Record Books as He Battles His Way to Final; French Open Tennis Championships: Chris Jones Sees World No1 Reach Eighth Successive Slam Showpiece

Article excerpt

ROGER FEDERER survived a scare against Nikolay Davydenko today to set a new record and reach the final of the French Open with 7-5, 7-6, 7-6 victory.

The world No1 has now reached eight consecutive Grand Slam finals, eclipsing Jack Crawfords milestone set in 1933. This was the Swiss stars 27th victory in a row in a Grand Slam and if he takes the title here and reaches the third round atWimbledon, he will pass Rod Lavers record.

Federer went into the match with a resounding 8-0 career advantage in matches with Davydenko. The Russian had numerous chances to finally break that duck today but threw away two sets points in the third having earlier lead 3-1 in the first set and served for the second only to be broken.

This was their third meeting in a Grand Slam with the previous battle in the semi-finals of the US Open last September in New York. Like that match, it was a straight sets victory for the Swiss No1.

Federer, chasing a full house of Grand Slam titles, was beaten in last years final by Rafael Nadal but came into Roland Garros having defeated the Spaniard in the Hamburg Masters Final to suggest he could finally rule on the Paris clay.

Davydenko should have easily won the opening set as he held four break points for a 5-1 lead. However, Federer finally came to terms with the Russians power hitting from the baseline and amazingly quick footwork. The turning point came when Davydenkolost his own serve to love in the eighth game and within 51 minutes the score board showed the Swiss had taken the set 7-5.

Not surprisingly, Federer greeted this success with a loud come on which is as verbal as the ten-times Slam champion gets on court and he maintained his improved quality of play into the next set until the ninth game.

Davydenko suddenly rediscovered the ability to drag Federer all over the Centre Court and broke to serve for the set only to give up his serve immediately.

This was amajor blow and the set drifted into a tie break which Federer found himself in control thanks to three forehand errors in a row from his opponent. …

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