Old dog Davydenko hits form
Cincinnati - Old pro Nikolay Davydenko, a former top five threat, schooled Ukrainian young gun Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1, 6-1 on Monday to get off to a rollicking start at the ATP-WTA Cincinnati Masters.
The 31-year-old Russian left Dolgopolov, eight years his junior, wondering what happened to the game which produced a title in Washington eight days ago on pre-US Open hardcourts.
Since beating German Tommy Haas for the final in the American capital, Dolgopolov has lost two matches, winning just four games in the process.
Davydenko, 2008 Cincinnati semi-finalist, said he wished he could roll back the years: "I am playing well but there is no way that I will get younger, it's too much to ask," said the Russian as he played for the first time since the London Olympics.
Davydenko, an eight-year veteran with an 11-8 mark at the tournament, also won the pair's only other match in the Barcelona first round in April, 2011. Dolgopolov exits without having ever won a match in three Cincinnati attempts.
In another men's match before light rain arrived as forecast, Italian Andreas Seppi beat Dutchman Robin Haase 6-4, 6-4.
In the women's draw, a pair of unseeded Germans advanced into the second round on the day in which world number 13 Ana Ivanovic was forced to withdraw after a foot injury suffered last week in Montreal.
The Serbian former number one will hopefully be fit after five days of rest and can begin final preparations for the US Open starting in a fortnight.
Mona Barthel hammered Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-0, 6-4 while number 25 Julia Goerges defeated Israeli Shahar Peer 6-3, 6-3. Swede Johanna Larsson beat Australian Casey Dellacqua in a battle of qualifiers 6-1, 6-3.
Olympic double gold medallist Serena Williams, seeded second behind Agnieszka Radwanska this week, shared the joy of her singles and doubles honours at London.
"It was really awesome to win both medals at the Olympics," said the 30-year-old. "I really wanted to win doubles even though everyone one reminded me that I had not won singles (yet).
"I just want to keep playing well and doing the best that I can. More Slams obviously is what I want to go for. I definitely have goals that I want to try to reach," said the former number one and 14-time Grand Slam champion.
Latest results from the Cincinnati Masters Series on Monday:
James Blake (USA) bt Kevin Anderson (RSA) 7-5, 6-4
Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) bt Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR x13) 6-1, 6-1
Andreas Seppi (ITA) bt Robin Haase (NED) 6-4, 6-4
Marin Cilic (CRO x12) bt Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
Brian Baker (USA) bt Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER x15) 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/3)
Jesse Levine (USA) bt Donald Young (USA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/2)
Lu Yen-Hsun (TPE) bt Lukasz Kubot (POL) 6-3, 6-0
Viktor Troicki (SRB) bt Ivan Dodig (CRO) 6-4, 7-5
Pablo Andujar (ESP) bt Marinko Matosevic (AUS) 6-4, 6-3
Denis Istomin (UZB) bt Julien Benneteau (FRA) 6-3, 6-1
Florian Mayer (GER) bt Fabio Fognini (ITA) 7-5, 6-2
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) bt Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) 6-2, 3-6, 6-1
Lleyton Hewitt (AUS) bt Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 6-4, 6-4
Mona Barthel (GER) bt Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez (ESP) 6-0, 6-4
Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) bt Simona Halep (ROM) 6-3, 6-0
Timea Babos (HUN) bt Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 7-6 (7/4), 6-4
Johanna Larsson (SWE) bt Casey Dellacqua (AUS) 6-1, 6-3
Julia Goerges (GER) bt Shahar Peer (ISR) 6-3, 6-3
Eleni Daniilidou (GRE) bt Vania King (USA) 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (8/6)
Dominka Cibulkova (SVK x11) bt Akgul Amanmuradova (UZB) 6-3, 6-4
Urszula Radwanska (POL) bt Ksenia Pervak (KAZ) 6-2, 6-4
Peng Shuai (CHN) bt Jelena Jankovic (SRB x13) 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (10/8)