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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Safin Extends Kremlin Cup Run After Toppling Davydenko

MOSCOW — Marat Safin, just a few weeks short of retirement, knocked out top seed Nikolai Davydenko 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 in a high-profile, first-round tie between the two Russians at the Kremlin Cup on Wednesday.

Davydenko, who won last week's Shanghai Masters to climb to number six in the world, looked fatigued and jet-lagged following his long flight from China and bowed out to his friend and Davis Cup team mate after an hour and 55 minutes.

Former world No.1 Safin, cheered on by a lively Moscow crowd, made sure that his final appearance at his home tournament would last at least another day and played some inspired tennis to dismantle Davydenko in the deciding set.

"At this stage, any match could be my last," said Safin.

"Actually, I was a bit nervous facing Nikolai because he's been in such a great form lately but I served and returned well and capitalized on his mistakes."

Davydenko stayed in the running for a place in next month's World Tour finale in London despite the defeat.