Davydenko, Blake held up by Estoril showers
ESTORIL: James Blake will have to engineer a Sunday comeback after his rain-interrupted Estoril Open semi-final against Nikolay Davydenko was finally suspended by darkness Saturday.
Davydenko, the 2003 winner, led Blake as the American played his first-ever European claycourt semi-final 7-6 (7/3), 2-4 in a match which was delayed by the weather and also interrupted after only four games had been played.
The winner will need a quick turnaround to face Spain's seventh seed Alberto Montanes, who squeezed in his semi-final victory through the showers, beating Paul Capdeville of Chile 6-3, 6-4.
Blake has beaten Davydenko all six times they have played but the pair have never met on clay, often the weakest link in Blake's game. The tennis schedule is hitting a log jam on both the men's and women's sides with men's play at the new Madrid Masters set to start on Sunday after women began their event on Saturday.
With the Rome WTA final only ending Saturday, women's semi-finalists in the Eternal City were all given Madrid first-round byes.
On the WTA side of the draw here Yanina Wickmayer defeated Russian sixth seed Ekaterina Makarova 7-5, 6-2 to become her country's first singles champion since Justine Henin at Antwerp last February.
She is, at 88 in the world, also the lowest-ranked singles trophy winner this year.
"I've been playing well for a few weeks now. I didn't have great results, but I've been practising really well," said the Belgian. "I felt this coming - not that I was going to win a title - but that I was playing well. I beat some good players this week, so I'm very happy."