Hamburg - Nikolay Davydenko's comeback nightmare continued on Thursday when the top seed and title-holder crashed out of the German Open against Andrey Golubev, 6-4, 6-4 in the third round.
The 82nd-ranked Kazakh Golubev got the deciding break for 5-4 in the second set and wrapped up matters in 1 hour 29 minutes with a forehand winner.
Davydenko was the form player on the tour in the second half of 2009 with five titles highlighted by the Masters Cup. The Russian world number six also won in Doha in January before being diagnosed with a left wrist fracture in March.
He missed three months and has not won two matches in a row in the four tournaments since his comeback.
"It is difficult to get the confidence back. But I have to stay positive," said Davydenko. "He played well and fast. I played well, ran well, but I didn't have a chance. He dominated and made few mistakes."
The Russia-born Golubev, 22, got his first career win over a top 10 player. He had not won three straight matches on the tour in 21 months since reaching the 2008 St Petersburg final as a qualifier.
Meanwhile, French Open semi-finalist Juergen Melzer led a trio of other seeds into the quarter-finals, 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) over fighting Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
The sixth-seeded former French Open champion and world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain defeated Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Brazilian seven seed Tomasz Bellucci beat German 10 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber for the first time in three meetings, 7-5, 6-4.
Melzer made the Hamburg quarters for only the second time in his seventh appearance, the first being in 2004. So did Ferrero, whose first place in the final eight even dates back to 2001 when he was a runner-up to compatriot Albert Portas.
Melzer now runs into Italy's Potito Starace, who rallied to beat Spanish qualifier Pere Riba, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. Ferrero plays unseeded Florian Mayer, who kept the German flag flying with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-0 decision over Argentine Maximo Gonzalez.
"I was a little nervous, but thankfully I won the first set. Then things went much better," said Mayer, who was treated for groin problems late in the first set.
Bellucci faces Andreas Seppi, who won an Italian duel against Fabio Fognini, 6-4, 6-4. Golubev meets Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, who stopped local wild card Julian Reister, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).Author: John Bagratuni
Third Round Results:
Andrey Golubev (KAZ) bt Nikolay Davydenko (RUS x1) 6-4, 6-4
Denis Istomin (UZB) bt Julian Reister (GER) 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/3)
Florian Mayer (GER) bt Maximo Gonzalez (ARG) 7-6 (7/1), 6-0
Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP x6) bt Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) 6-2, 3-6, 6-4
Potito Starace (ITA) bt Pere Riba (ESP) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4
Jurgen Melzer (AUT x3) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 7-5, 7-6 (7/4)
Thomaz Belluci (BRA x7) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER x10) 7-5, 6-4
Andreas Seppi (ITA) bt Fabio Fognini (ITA) 6-4, 6-4