Davydenko claims third ATP title of season

KUALA LUMPUR: Nikolay Davydenko claimed his third ATP tournament victory of the season after beating Spain's Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 7-5 in the final of the Malaysian Open here Sunday.

Russia's world number eight Davydenko, fighting to hold his place for the November ATP World Finals in London -- limited to the top eight men in the world -- has now added Asian honours to victories won in Hamburg, Germany and Umag, Croatia this summer.

"It feels just great to win here," said Davydenko, 17-5 in career finals. "I have confidence now. It was a tough match, they are all different."

Davydenko now stands an overwhelming 6-1 against Australian Open finalist Verdasco, who only recently recovered from an abdominal muscle problem and has put off minor foot surgery until the end of the season in December.

Davydenko spent just over 90 minutes in compiling the victory, managing two aces to eight from the Spaniard but breaking three times.

The top seed saved six of the seven break points he faced against tournament number two Verdasco, ninth in the world and also duelling for a year-end place.

Davydenko has been nursing a sore wrist all week, but did not let that distract him. He improved to 42-12 on the season after winning the 17th trophy of his career.