Category Archives: Nikolay Davydenko

Davydenko on an 11 match winning streak

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I’m very pleased to see Nikolay Davydenko back on form.

He missed a lot of tennis at the start of the year due to injury and subsequently saw himself drop out of the top ten for the first time since May 2005.

However this absence from the world’s elite did not last for long as the talented Russian reeled off ten straight victories to claim two titles in as many weeks moving into 8th place.

Davydenko is one of the best players to watch on the tour as he plays the game like nobody else with his machine like hitting from the back of the court.

His technique is flawless and when on song he peppers his opponent with powerful shots that land near or on the baseline which are simply impossible to deal with.

Just ask this years Wimbledon quarter finalist Juan Carlos Ferrero who was embarassed by ‘Kolya’ (the Russian nickname for Nikolay) 6-3 6-0 in the final of clay court tournament Umag which completed his ten match rout.

The Russian is surely due another decent showing in the Montreal Masters this week and he has already seen off Paul-Henri Mathieu in the second round.

So the world number eight is anything but boring right?

Not according to The Sun who branded him ‘the most boring man in tennis’ in an article written in June during the French Open.

Boring? So a man with 16 career singles titles to his name, four appearances in grand slam semi finals, two wins over Rafael Nadal and an accusation of match fixing is boring?! I don’t think so.

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Machine like Davydenko advances into final

I suspected Murray would be tired today and he certainly was. He was spotted looking blankly at his team in the third game after a losing a long rally.

In my previous post I wrote :: “The question is, will Murray be tired for his next match tomorrow against Nikolay Davydenko? He certainly can’t play any better than he did today and if Davydenko, who has had a day to prepare, plays as well as he did in his last match I think we could be seeing the Russian advance into the final.”

 His 3 hour marathon match with Federer was energy sapping and it showed today as he could not keep up with the barrage of quality coming from his opponent. Davydenko was simply stunning from the back of the court and Murray had no answers.

The Russian hit with such high intensity and precision and he was clearly prepared to hit forehands and backhands all day until Murray faded. He is comfortable off both wings and his shot technique is impeccable. I became a fan of ‘Davy’ after he won the Miami Masters event dominating Nadal in the final last March. Read the post here.

He isn’t as consistently good as the top four players in the world however when he’s at his best he certainly matches up with them.

He faces Djokovic in the final who has looked shaky this week. Despite the fact he lost to the Serb in the group stage I’m going to predict Davydenko will take the title.

Davydenko retires to hand Federer title

My tip Nikolay Davydenko retired at 2-1 up in the second set in the final of the Estoril Open.

This is a disappointing outcome for this match particularly as the Russian was playing so well and a break up. He looked uncomfortable towards the end of the first set and I suspected that he may be about to retire. In the post match interview he did not sight a reason however he had been having trouble with his groin earlier in the week due to playing so many matches this year.

 It was a very even match and Federer sneaked a first set tie break by 7 points to 5 but was then broken in the first game of the second set after some strong hitting by Davydenko.

Despite losing, Davydenko won 56 out of 111 points and Federer won 55 out of 111 and had the world number four been fit I think he would have gone on to win.

Credit must be given to Davydenko for playing despite not being 100 percent and he certainly put up a good fight with Federer failing to break his serve.

 

Match Prediction 20/4 Estoril Open Final

Roger Federer (1) SWI – Nikolay Davydenko (4) RUS

Davydenko has not beaten Federer in 11 meetings and if he is ever going to defeat him its going to be here. The Russian is very much on form at the moment where as Federer is not looking at his best and has struggled through matches on the dirt. He was broken three times in his match against Denis Gremelmayr which is far from impressive considering the German’s world ranking of 104.

 Davydenko’s game is suited to clay as he is machine like when hitting from the back of the court. Federer on the other hand has had trouble adjusting to the surface as shots that would be winners on hard courts are now coming back and as a result he is making too many un-forced errors.

I think this match could easily go to three sets as Federer will without a doubt raise his game but I favour the consistent Davydenko to win his 12th consecutive match.

Predicted winner :: Davydenko

Davydenko forced to battle into Estoril Open Quarters

Nikolay Davydenko was involved in a very interesting match against Ivo Minar in the Estoril Open round of 16.

Clay court season is now upon us and there is no-one in better form than Davydenko who’s superior movement and baseline play ensures he as no trouble in adjusting to the dirt.

He got the job done here surprisingly in three sets 26 62 64 against the world number 72 and I felt that in 90 percent of the match he played well but in the other 10 percent he was a bit shaky. 

In the first set he was dominated by the hard hitting and serving of Minar and only won a pathetic 5 out of 21 points when receiving. When serving the Russian number one only won 50% of points which is another very poor statistic. A very ‘off’ set.

But predictably Minar was never going to be able to keep up this domination and Davydenko raised his game and played some excellent tennis from the back of the court in the second set as he began to take control of the match.

He then breezed into a 4-1 lead in the third set, a double break of serve and it looked as if he would cruise into the next round.

However Davydenko completely lost his way in the next three games, being broken twice by the plucky Minar and it was back to 4-4.

The Russian no longer had the ability to hit a first serve in the games he was broken and I think he showed a certain degree of mental weakness here when in such a commanding lead. This should not be happening to the number four player in the world.

Fortunately for Davydenko he is such a skilled player off the ground that he broke Minar in the next game and then had a much smoother service game to move in to the quarter finals.

 I find it weird how he seemed to switch on and off in this match and this wasn’t a brilliant performance however a world class player has the ability to win even when not playing his or her best and Davydenko certainly used that skill here.

He appeared to have particular problems on his second serve today with only 9 out of 28 points won and also 4 double faults.

This match displayed a slight dip in form however he still played some very good shots against Minar, who kept fighting even when two breaks down and nearly came back from the most unlikely situation.

Despite this below par performance I think Davydenko could advance into the final where he will surely play Federer who has no player of any note in his half. A potential tricky semi final against Giles Simon awaits the Russian however on his  current match winning form he can defeat anyone. If the ideal final takes place between the number one and two seed, Davydenko has the momentum to win his second title this year.

Underrated Davydenko shows his class

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.

 

Match Prediction 06/04 Sony Ericsson Open

Final

Nikolay Davydenko RUS (4) – Rafael Nadal ESP (2)

Davydenko has surprised many with his impressive performances in Miami. He started the tournament slowly, struggling past Bolelli and Gulbis but has since upped his game and chalked up big victories over Tipsarevic, Ancic and Roddick. The Russian has had some very varied results this year including straight sets loses against Llodra and Fish and as I have said previously you never know what you will get with the world number 4. He can really put in some horrible lackluster showings considering his high ranking. But he has been very much in the zone in this tournament and displayed pure domination from the baseline against Roddick. His serve is also looking much more impressive and won an impressive 34 out of 39 first serve points against the American. To trouble Nadal he will have to repeat these stats and deliver a very solid performance if he is to beat him here.

The Spaniard is on terrific form and is playing to a level I have not witnessed before, particularly on serve he has proved to be virtually unbreakable. I thought Blake would beat him however Nadal showed his class and fighting spirit to come back from a set down. Also he grinded out a win against Berdych who had not lost a set in the tournament. He has been quoted as saying he is playing to his full potential and I think Nadal at full potential can beat anyone.

However the hard courts probably suit Davydenko’s baseline play a bit more and providing he plays to his best ability, he could enjoy picking off Nadal’s high top spin shots. This match has a massive possiblity of going the distance and although Davydenko is bang on form and certainly has a chance I would be silly not to tip up Nadal to deliver yet another unbelievable performance and take the title.

Predicted Winner :: Nadal