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In a Tennis Masters Cup riddled with withdrawals and alternates making the main draw, it's quite something to see the "replacement killers" making the semifinals. Yesterday, David Nalbandian defeated Ivan Ljubicic in spectacular fashion 6-2,6-2. Not bad for a guy who had to cancel a fishing trip because he suddenly qualified for the TMC.

Nalbandian, Ljubicic, and Gaston Gaudio wouldn't have been able to qualify if the three players who withdrew prior to the tournament beginning had been able to play. As for the two players who got in because Rafael Nadal and Andre Agassi withdrew, it's been a mixed bag. Mariano Puerta has lost two round-robin matches already, which means he will not qualify for the semifinal round. Fernando Gonzalez won his first round-robin match, but he needs to win this match he's playing against Gaudio right now if he wants to get into the semifinals. Gaudio beat Puerta but lost to Nikolay Davydenko, so this match is also a must-win for him to get through to the semis.

Roger Federer finished off his round-robin matches last night by beating Guillermo Coria 6-0,1-6,6-2. It was an odd match for the International Man of Sexiness (according to People Magazine); he's lost a set in all of the round-robin matches he has played this year. Nevertheless, the win continues a streak he's had at the Masters Cup, where he's won all of his round-robin matches for the past three years.

As for silent assassin Davydenko, he plays Puerta in his last round-robin match. Beginning with his shock upset of Agassi, Davydenko has won his past two matches in straight sets. We shall see if he manages to compile a 3-0 round-robin match record as well. He's already guaranteed a spot in a semifinal tomorrow, where he'll play Nalbandian.

UPDATE: Gaudio routed Gonzo in the third set and progresses to a semifinal versus Federer. Davydenko beat Puerta in straight sets.
 

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I love this TMC. Best ever. :rolleyes:

:ras:

*awaits new season impatiently*
 

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yeah, I can't wait for it to be over. :eek: although there's something to be said about Nalbandian's and Davydenko's results :bigclap: both guys have acquitted themselves well.
 
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