London, Nov 28 (DPA) Novak Djokovic joined Andy Murray on the statistical scrapheap as Nikolay Davydenko defeated Robin Soderling 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 6-3 to earn the last of the semi-final places at the ATP World Tour Finals.
Russia’s Davydenko joins Soderling as Group B representatives for the weekend with defending champion Djokovic coming up short.
Davydenko went through in two hours with 10 aces in his victory Friday to lead Soderling 7-3 in their series. Soderling is the first Swede in the semi-finals of the year-end championships since Jonas Bjorkman achieved the feat in Hanover in 1997.
Djokovic did what he could with a defeat of second seed Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 to leave the Spaniard without a single winning set from three matches this week.
Despite the uncertainty, Djokovic was not complaining. “In World Tour Finals, it (round robin) is actually good. In my situation maybe not now, because my destiny doesn’t depend from myself. But that’s the way it is.
“I don’t think any player should do any calculation because on the court you can’t really perform your best tennis. It didn’t really make any difference to me when I played in these last two years, I’ve tried to give maximum in every match I play,” said Djokovic.
The week has been less impressive for Nadal, who has not won a title since last May in Rome and now faces a last season test in the Davis Cup final in Barcelona next week as Spain defend their title against the Czech Republic.
“It’s disappointing if you arrive here with the feeling that you have a big chance to win — but I didn’t arrive here with that feeling,” said the Spaniard. “I know before the tournament that (it’s) going to be really tough, difficult. But I tried, every day I tried my best.”
The formerly invincible Spaniard from Majorca lost his seventh hard court match out of 10 played against Djokovic, who tore up the circuit in recent weeks with three ATP titles in a month and a half.
“I think I improved a little bit, but, you know, that’s tennis. I’m playing against the best players of the world. It wasn’t enough on this surface.”
Nadal still holds a 14-7 overall record in the series with the Serb, who will be hoping to defend the year-end trophy he lifted a year ago in Shanghai.
The victory was the third on the trot in straight sets for world number three Djokovic over Nadal after success in Cincinnati and Paris Bercy a fortnight ago.