It seems strange to label the world number 4 as underrated but this is exactly the case of Nikolay Davydenko who displayed a level of tennis in the Sony Ericsson Open final I have not seen from him before to beat Nadal 64 62, and my only question is why do we not see this type of performance on a more regular basis…
At the start of this tournament I am 100 percent sure nobody would have chosen Davydenko to take his first title of the year and he has finally justified his ranking after many people including myself were wondering just how he is world #4. It now seems very strange that he went into his match against world #6 Andy Roddick, as an underdog.
It seems he is truly on fire at the moment and trying his very best to put the betting scandal, which has cast a dark cloud over his career, firmly behind him.
I tipped Nadal to win in a three set thriller considering the Russian’s poor record against the top three players, however this was not the case as Davydenko dominated the Spaniard in all areas. His serving, groundstrokes and movement were near perfect and you could have written a text book on his performance as he ran Nadal around the court.
The number 4 in the world, is the without a doubt in my opinion the least popular player in the top 10 and this picture of him on the practice court proves he is not much of a draw for spectators compared with others near him in the rankings.
Photo credit :: Matt Whitfield for tennisservedfresh
I’m sure though after winning in Miami ‘Davy’ will be hoping to have won over a few more fans because clearly after a showing like this he deserves them.
Why does Davydenko not attract such as following compared with his other top ten associates?
One crazy theory that I have come across is that it is due to the fact he has no hair! This is of course rubbish as being bald did not harm Andre Agassi’s popularity.
Obviously the betting scandal did not help his case but I feel the main reason for his lack of fan base is due to the fact he does not have a big personality when compared with the arrogant (in a positive way) Roddick and the entertaining Djokovic.
Davydenko is an extremely hard working pro and does not crave the spot light as others do. A lot of fuss is made when he loses a match he is expected to win but this happens to all players. He is not the fourth best player in the world for nothing and I will certainly be taking more notice of this gifted player in the future.