Straight-sets victories set up rematch of last year's semifinal

Updated: January 3, 2008, 5:26 PM ET
Associated Press

DOHA, Qatar -- Top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko beat Dmitry Tursunov 7-5, 6-3 Thursday in the Qatar Open and next faces Andy Murray in a repeat of last year's semifinal matchup.

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Third-seeded Murray advanced by defeating Thomas Johansson 7-6 (4), 6-0 in the quarterfinals.

Davydenko was beaten by Murray last year, but the Scotsman went on to lose to Ivan Ljubicic in the final.

Davydenko lost his first service game in the opening set but immediately broke back against the eighth-seeded Tursunov. He broke again in the 11th game before serving out at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex.

"It was not easy today," Davydenko said. "We both committed too many mistakes in the first set."

The fourth-ranked Russian had four breaks of serve in the second set but also lost serve twice.

"In the second set I played better. I tried to win as many points as possible from the baseline," said Davydenko, who won 72 percent of first-serve points.

All games went with serve in the first set of Murray's match against Johansson, but Murray dominated the tiebreaker with strong forehand strokes from the baseline.

The 11th-ranked Murray then cruised through the second set, breaking his Swedish opponent in the second, fourth and sixth games.

"[Johansson] served unbelievably well in the first set," Murray said. "In the second set I was more confident and was a bit more aggressive on his serve. I got the momentum early on. ... I saw his head go down after that." Fourth-seeded Ljubicic and Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland also advanced to the semifinals for another repeat of the same match from last year.

Ljubicic was taken to three sets by Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber before the Croat won 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, and Wawrinka defeated Agustin Calleri of Argentina 6-3, 6-0.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press