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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Davydenko Dampens Briton's No. 1 Hopes

ReutersDavydenko in Prague on Tuesday
PARIS -- Russia's Nikolai Davydenko stayed on course for a berth at the year-end Masters Cup when he crushed former champion Greg Rusedski 6-2, 6-2 in the second round of the Paris Masters on Tuesday.

Davydenko, seeded third, needed just 59 minutes to move past Rusedski, who won the indoor tournament in 1998 and would have made sure of ending the season as the British No. 1 ahead of Tim Henman had he won.

Rusedski could still end the year in top spot if he does well at a Challenger event in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, in two weeks.

"I've got one more Challenger in the Ukraine and it would be great to get the top ranking, but if not then I'll do it in 2006," Rusedski said, the BBC reported.

"That's a big deal for me to finish the year as the top player. ... It's been a good 2005. I'll be back in the top 40, and I picked up my 15th career title this year in Newport."

A semifinalist at this year's French Open, Davydenko sits in seventh place in the ATP Champions race and will qualify for the eight-strong season's finale from Nov. 13 in Shanghai if he can hold on to that spot.

The 32-year-old Rusedski, who scored a memorable win over Pete Sampras in the final here seven years ago, was never in contention against Davydenko. The Russian all-rounder remained in control until hitting a forehand winner on the first match point.

Second seed Guillermo Coria had earlier disappeared from the lucrative event, brushed aside 6-4, 6-2 by Czech Tomas Berdych.

Argentine Coria, who would have secured a Masters Cup berth with a victory, looked clumsy and made a string of unforced errors. Berdych, who had beaten fellow Czech Jiri Novak in the first round, capitalized on his opponent's mistakes and earned three match points when Coria netted a backhand.

Coria saved the first two with service winners, but on the third Berdych fired a backhand pass down the line to seal victory in just over an hour. Currently in sixth place in the ATP Champions race, Coria can still win one of the two remaining tickets to Shanghai, depending on how other players' results go.