Federer wins first title of 2008 by default
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Top-ranked Roger Federer won the Estoril Open and his first title of the season when second-seeded Nikolay Davydenko retired with a leg injury while trailing 7-6 (5), 1-2 on Sunday.
Davydenko broke Federer to start the second set before pulling out of the match. "I have a little injury and I can't finish the match," Davydenko told the court-side crowd. "I'm sorry guys." The Russian did not elaborate but he had received treatment on his left leg before starting the second set.
Federer returned to winning ways in his fifth tournament played this season. It had been eight years since Federer had needed so many events to reach a final.
"It's not the way you want to win a tournament but that's just the way it goes sometime," Federer said. "It's great to win a title again and to straightaway win my first clay court tournament of the season gives me great confidence going into Monte Carlo."
Federer leveled his record in clay court finals to 7-7 on a windy day. Overall, he's won 54 of the 71 finals he's played and this was his first in Portugal to give him titles in 17 different countries.
Federer set up five break chances over Davydenko's first three service games but hit unforced errors on four of those chances, while Davydenko fired one of his two aces of the set to save the other.
Federer's serve was never under question coming into Estoril and he served an ace past Davydenko to save a break chance in the eighth, with Davydenko shooting a low forehand into the net for Federer to hold it at 4-4.
Federer was down 0-30 to start the 10th but recovered only to face set point which led to his fourth ace. Federer took it to a tiebreaker after saving another set point when Davydenko shot out.
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