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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Federer Tops Davydenko to Reach Final

APFederer, left, shaking Davydenko's hand after beating the Russian in straight sets in Paris on Friday. Federer was made to work hard for his 7-5, 7-6, 7-6 win.
PARIS -- Roger Federer reached a record eighth consecutive Grand Slam final by overcoming Nikolai Davydenko 7-5, 7-6, 7-6 in a thrilling French Open semifinal Friday.

World No. 1 Federer bettered the record of seven successive final appearances set by Australian Jack Crawford in the 1930s but was made to work for it.

The elegant Swiss, 25, chasing the only Grand Slam title to elude him, showed more composure when it mattered to reach the final for the second successive year.

"Anything could have happened in this match," Federer said with a sigh of relief after snatching victory.

"It was tight until the end. I could have lost in three sets but I won. He's an excellent player and that was a good test for me before the final."

Fourth seed Davydenko, who failed to advance to his first final of a major event, gave his all but it was not enough.

The 26-year-old Russian bowed out by sending a backhand wide on the second match point after just over three hours of high quality tennis.

Davydenko, who led in all three sets, broke Federer straight away and earned many break points on the top seed's next service games.

Federer, who looked sluggish at first, underlined his determination to fight back by saving three break points with as many service winners in the seventh game. In the next game, the Swiss earned his first break opportunity of the match and converted it courtesy of an unforced error from his opponent to level the set at 4-4.

A tiebreak was looming when Davydenko fired a backhand long to drop serve in the 12th game and lose the set after 51 minutes.

Davydenko was left to rue converting only one of 11 break points. Federer had just two, but converted both to win the set.

The pattern continued in the next two sets, with Davydenko wasting opportunities to get back in the match. He was 5-2 up in the third set, only to be broken when serving for the match.