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Davydenko powers to Paris victory

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PARIS, France -- Russian Nikolay Davydenko destroyed Slovakia's Dominik Hrbaty 6-1 6-2 6-2 to take his first Masters Series title in devastating fashion in Paris on Sunday.

Fouth seed Davydenko, the highest-ranked player in the Paris Masters field after a string of no-shows, needed just an hour and 38 minutes to tame a helpless Hbraty.

Davydenko, who will move two places up to third in the ATP entry list to be released on Monday, has now won five tournaments this year, the same as Rafael Nadal and James Blake.

Only world number one Roger Federer, with 11, has claimed more.

"This is amazing," said Davydenko. "Winning a Masters Series for the first time is important and being number three in the world behind players such as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal is quite an achievement."

The 25-year-old Russian has dropped just one set in the tournament and has to be regarded as one of the favorites for the year-end Masters Cup featuring the world's top eight players, which starts on November 12 in Shanghai.

The 28-year-old Hrbaty, seeded 17th and appearing in a Masters Series final for the second time after finishing runner-up in Monte Carlo in 2000, was never in contention in a totally one-sided final.

Davydenko, who was already 5-0 up after 16 minutes, needed just 21 minutes to wrap up the first set.

Serving close to perfection and hitting winners almost at will, the balding Russian stayed on top in the second set until his opponent netted a forehand on set point.

Hrbaty, who had not played a final in more than two years, stepped up a gear in the third set but Davydenko was not impressed, breaking the Slovak in the fifth game and saving three break points to hold serve in the next.

Davydenko then captured his opponent's serve yet again and served for the match, wasting a match point before converting the second with a superb forehand winner.


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Only Roger Federer has won more ATP titles than Davydenko this year.

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