World tennis number one Roger Federer has failed in his bid to make it to the final of the Qatar Open, after being beaten by the Russian Nikolay Davydenko 6-4, 6-4.
Davydenko, ranked sixth, will now meet Spain’s Rafael Nadal in Saturday’s final. The world number two beat Viktor Troicki of Serbia on Friday to secure his place in the final round.
It was a disappointing start to the season for Federer who was also knocked out at the semifinals of last year’s $1.3 million (SFr 1.33 million) ATP World Tour event.
Davydenko got off to a fast start against Federer, breaking him in the third game when the Swiss hit two returns into the net. After going 2-1 up, Davydenko held his serve to close the set at 6-4 in 37 minutes.
In contrast, Federer struggled with his serve as the Russian produced a number of first serves hovering around the 200 kilometres per hour mark.
"Yeah, he served very well, especially when he needed to. He played better," Federer said after the match. "I felt my arm from the cold but it is not an excuse ... He made it difficult as the match went on," he added.
Federer now heads to Melbourne for the Australian Open. "There is nothing to worry about my arm. I will be fine," the Swiss player said.
swissinfo.ch and agencies