Davydenko beats Ljubicic

Hamburg, May 13:

Fourth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko cruised into the third round of the Hamburg Masters beating Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 6-1 today, and two more players retired because of injuries.

Davydenko dominated Ljubicic after the two players traded five breaks of serve early in the match. “The first match is always difficult,” said Davydenko, who had a first-round bye.

Luis Horna dropped out with a calf injury while trailing Potito Starace 6-3, 4-2 and Kristof Vliegen pulled out with a back injury with Jose Acasuso leading 5-2. Both were first-round matches. Filippo Volandri retired on Monday with a knee injury.

Withdrawals have become a common theme in European clay-court tournaments in the past month. The Rome Masters last week had five withdrawals and neither of the semi-finals was completed. World No 2 Rafael Nadal, who lost in Rome in the second round after getting treated for a major blister on his foot, blamed the crowded schedule for the series of retirements.

In another second-round match, Fernando Verdasco defeated Michael Llodra 6-2, 6-0.

In first-round action, 11th-seeded Carlos Moya rallied to beat Julien Benneteau 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7) and Janko Tipsarevic also came from behind to defeat Andreas Beck 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.