By Theo Ruizenaar
ROTTERDAM (Reuters) - Russian second seed Nikolay Davydenko eased past Juergen Melzer from Austria 6-3 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the World Indoor Tournament on Friday.
He will take on third seed Robin Soderling for a place in Sunday's final, after the Swedish world number eight needed 49 minutes to wrap up a 6-0 6-1 win over Julien Benneteau.
Davydenko initially struggled with Melzer's serve after dropping his own service game. But he regained control following a long sixth game to register his third straight sets win in Rotterdam.
"Melzer played some good points in the beginning and I still struggle with the circumstances on court," Davydenko told reporters, explaining his awkward start to the match.
"It might not show from the stands seeing my performance but it is how I feel on court."
Soderling had a breakout season in 2009, ending Rafa Nadal's four-year hold on the French Open, but has struggled recently with first round exits in Chennai and the Australian Open.
"A perfect match does not exist but this was my best match of the year so far, though I still have things to improve," Soderling said.
"My poor start to the year was mainly caused by mental tiredness as I lacked enough rest after a long and good season, but my early exit in Australia gave me the time I needed."
Top seed Novak Djokovic is already through to the semis because his opponent Florian Mayer withdrew with a hamstring injury.
Djokovic will face either Gael Monfils or 2007 winner Mikhail Youzhny who play later today.
(Editing by Alison Wildey)