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Nikolay Vladimirovich Davydenko ( ; ; born June 2, 1981 in Severodonetskmarker, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Unionmarker) is a Russian tennis player. Davydenko's best result in a Grand Slam tournament has been reaching the semi-finals, which he has done on four occasions - twice each at the French Open and the U.S. Open. He was runner-up at the 2008 Tennis Masters Cup and then went one better the next year winning the 2009 ATP World Tour Finals. He has also won 3 Masters Series shields.

Personal life

Years later, Davydenko explained his peripatetic youth, "I stayed 4 years in Russia. Eduard worked as a tennis coach for kids and we practised together. He pushed me pretty hard. At 15 we left for Germany. A Russian who lived there convinced Eduard it would be better for me and help me to learn more about my game with better coaches. In Europe I could play more tournaments and earn more money than in Russia."

Davydenko was granted Russian citizenship in 1999 at the age of 18, and has represented Russia ever since. In 2007 he applied for Austrian citizenship (so as to obtain a dual citizenship), and has also previously applied for German citizenship.

Tennis fans have nicknamed Davydenko "Kolya", the Russian nickname for Nikolay. He has also been called "Iron Man" because he plays in more tournaments per year than any other player, just like fellow Russian and former World No. 1 Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Another nickname is "The Machine" due to his aggressive, consistent style of play.

Davydenko's favourite players growing up were Ivan Lendl and Yannick Noah. During his spare time he enjoys cycling, fishing, soccer, and hockey. He is also a Guns N' Roses fan. He speaks Russian, German and English.

Before the Davis Cup in 2006, Davydenko married his girlfriend Irina, who was his traveling companion for three years. He currently resides in Volgograd, Russia.

Tennis career

Early career

Davydenko started playing at at the age of seven with his brother, Eduard. During his junior tennis years, he moved to Salmtalmarker, Germany with Eduard to further improve and participate in more tournaments.

Davydenko turned professional in 1999. In 2000, he played mainly on the Futures Tour, where he captured one title and reached three finals. He made his ATP debut at Amsterdammarker, reaching the semi-final. Later in August, he won his first Challenger title in Mönchengladbachmarker.

2001–2003

Davydenko made his Grand Slam debut in 2001 at the Australian Openmarker, where he made it to the second round, before losing to former World No. 1, Patrick Rafter in four sets. This performance captured the public eye of his talent and ability. Later in February, he injured his lower back in Dallasmarker and subsequently was out for six weeks. After the injury, he came back to win two Challenger titles in Ulmmarker and Istanbulmarker. He finished the season with a quarter-final in Baselmarker.

In 2002, Davydenko continued to play on both the ATP Tour and Challenger events. It was a steady year with quarter-final appearances in Båstadmarker and Viennamarker. During the year he captured his fourth Challenger title in Szczecinmarker.

Davydenko made huge strides on the ATP Tour in 2003. He opened the season with his first ATP title in Adelaidemarker defeating Kristof Vliegen in the final. A few months later, he captured his second tour title in Estorilmarker on clay beating Agustín Calleri. His season was backed up with solid performances on clay in Barcelonamarker and St. Pöltenmarker, reaching the quarter final and final respectively. After a solid year, Davydenko finished in the top 50 for the first time in his career.

2004

His progress continued in 2004, capturing two more titles for the second consecutive year. After a slow start to season, a quarter final in the Monte Carlo Mastersmarker kicked off a 10-2 matches run. A week later he won in Munichmarker for his third title. Backed up his win by reaching the semi-final in Stuttgartmarker losing to Guillermo Cañas. In October, he captured his first home soil victory in Moscow by winning both the singles and doubles (partnering Igor Andreev). He finished the season in the top 30 for the first time.

2005

In 2005, he began the season by reaching the quarter-final for the first time in a Grand Slam at the Australian Open. During the clay season, captured his fifth career title in St. Pöltenmarker beating home favourite, Jürgen Melzer. Continued his solid form by reaching the semi-finals of Hamburg Mastersmarker and his first Grand Slam at the French Openmarker. There was a controversy after the French Open because he lost to Mariano Puerta in 5 close sets 3–6 7–5 6–2 4–6 4–6, who was later caught and banned for doping. He reached the top 10 for the first time after the French Open. Closed out the year by reaching the quarter-finals at the Cincinnati Masters and the Paris Masters. After a great season, allowed him to qualified Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai for the first time and reached the semi-finals losing to David Nalbandian. Finished the year as the No. 1 Russian and world No. 5.

2006–2007

Davydenko at the 2006 French Open.
After his rapid rise into the top 5 in 2005, Davydenko continued to stay in the top 5 for 2006. Repeated his quarter-final appearance at the Australian Open, losing to Roger Federer in 4 tight sets, 4–6 6–3 6–7(7) 6–7(5). He had another solid clay court season, reaching the final in Estoril and quarter final at the Hamburg Masters. Defended his title in Pöertschach and reached the quarter-final at the French Open for the second year. His form continued after an early loss at Wimbledonmarker with wins in Sopotmarker and his first American soil win in New Havenmarker. After the win on the hardcourt season, he reached his second Grand Slam semi-final at the U.S.marker Openmarker, losing to Roger Federer. Finished the season with a win in Moscow and his first career TMS title in Paris. After getting married, Davydenko helped Russia win the Davis Cup against Argentinamarker. He reached a career high ranking of No. 3 which he finished on for the year.

Nikolay Davydenko at the 2007 Hamburg Masters.
2007 started with another quarter-final appearance at the Australian Open for the third consecutive year. He was slow to find his form on clay court season; but found his form at the Rome Mastersmarker, losing in the semi-final to the "King of Clay", Rafael Nadal in an enthralling match 6–7, 7–6, 4–6. His good form continued, and he reached semi-final for the second time at the French Open, losing to Roger Federer again 5–7, 6–7, 6–7. At Wimbledon, he surprised the tennis world by reaching the 4th round on his least preferred surface. Moving to the hard court season in the US, Davydenko had strong showings in Canada Masters and Cincinnati Masters, reaching the quarter-final and semi-final respectively. Davydenko then reached the semi-final of the U.S.marker Openmarker for the second consecutive year before losing to Roger Federer 5–7, 1–6, 5–7. He won his eleventh career title in Moscow, defeating Paul-Henri Mathieu. Davydenko ended the year ranked No. 4 and in the top 5 for the third straight year.

2008

Davydenko started 2008 at the Australian Open where he was seeded fourth. He won his first three matches in straight sets, but in the fourth round he lost to countryman Mikhail Youzhny 7–6, 6–3, 6–1. In Dubai, he reached the semi-finals, losing to Feliciano López in three sets. He then went on to win his biggest career title to date at the Miami Mastersmarker. On the route to the win he defeated Andy Roddick in the semi-final and Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-2 in the final to win his second ATP Masters Series title. His win over Roddick in the semi-final was his first victory in six matches while his win over Nadal was his first in three matches.

Davydenko began the European clay court season with a final appearance in his next tournament, the Estoril Openmarker in Portugal, where he met world number 1, Roger Federer in the final. In the second set of the final, while trailing Federer, 7–6(5), 2–1, Davydenko retired hurt with a left leg injury. He then reached the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters. He won his thirteenth career title in Pöertschach defeating Juan Mónaco 6–2, 2–6, 6–2. After a disappointing French Open, Davydenko went on to win another title, this time in Warsaw, defeating Tommy Robredo 6–3, 6–3 in the final. He did not win back-to-back matches until the US Open. At the Open, he lost in the fourth round to qualifier Gilles Müller 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(10), breaking his streak of two straight semi-finals.

Davydenko reached semi-final at the Paris Masters, losing to David Nalbandian 1-6, 7-5, 4-6. Davydenko qualified for the Tennis Masters Cup for the fourth consecutive year. He beat Juan Martin del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the round robin matches to progress to the semi-final, where he defeated Andy Murray 7–5, 6–2 to reach the final, where he met Novak Djokovic, losing 1-6, 5-7. Davydenko finished the year ranked No. 5 in world and in the top 5 for the fourth consecutive year.

2009

Davydenko started the year at an exhibition in Abu Dhabi, which featured 6 of the worlds best players. Davydenko defeated Andy Roddick 6-4, 6-4 before being defeated by top seed Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-3.

His first tour tournament was in Chennai, India, where he was the top seed. He defeated Daniel Koellerer in straight sets but was forced to withdraw before his second round match against Lukas Dlouhy because of a left heel injury. This injury subsequently forced Davydenko to withdraw from the Australian Open. In Rotterdam, where he was defeated in the second round by Julien Benneteau. The injury he sustained in Chennai earlier in the year returned forcing Davydenko to withdraw from the 1000 Series tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami. This caused his ranking to fall from No. 5 to No. 9 by April 6.

Davydenko returned to the tour after a two month absence in Monte Carlo. He defeated Ivo Karlovic and David Nalbandian before being eliminated by Andy Murray in the quarterfinals 7-6(1), 6-4. In Barcelona, he posted back-to-back three set wins over Feliciano Lopez and Radek Stepanek. He was ousted by World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in the semifinals 6-3, 6-2. Despite his run in Barcelona, his ranking slipped out of the top 10 for the first time since May 23, 2005.

Davydenko was upset in the early rounds in Rome. Davydenko reached his second semifinal of the year in Estoril, by eliminating Juan Carlos Ferrero in the second round and Mardy Fish in the quarterfinals, but was stopped by American James Blake 6-7(3), 7-6(2), 6-3. In his last tournament before the French Open, Nikolay advanced to the third round in Madrid before he was forced to withdraw before his match with Andy Roddick due to a leg injury. He was able to play at Roland Garros, and convincingly advanced to the quarterfinals. He dropped a set apiece to Diego Junqueira and Stanislas Wawrinka and beat the No. 8 seed Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 en route. He fell to eventual runner-up Robin Söderling 6-1, 6-3, 6-1.

On grass, Davydenko advanced to the third round at Wimbledon before falling to Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 for the first time. After Wimbledon he competed in the 2009 MercedesCup as a second seed falling to Fabio Fognini in the Quarterfinals. He then won 2 straight titles in 2009 International German Open defeating Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-2 and in 2009 ATP Studena Croatia Open Umag defeating Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-3 6-0, dropping only one set in 10 matches. Davydenko then lost to Andy Murray in the quarterfinals of the Rogers Cup in Montrealmarker 6-2, 6-4, a loss which snapped a 12 match winning streak. He then lost in the third round of the 2009 Cincinnati Masters to Gilles Simon 7-6(6), 4-6, 4-6. Davydenko lost in the quarterfinals 2009 Pilot Pen Tennis to Sam Querrey. At the US Open, he reached the fourth round before retiring against Robin Söderling with a left thigh injury.
Nikolay Davydenko at 2009 US Open
won his 3rd title of the year in the 2009 Malaysian Open after beating Gaël Monfils 6-3 6-3 in the quarters, Robin Söderling 1-6 7-6(1) 6-2 in the semis and eventually Fernando Verdasco 6-4 7-5 in the final. Following his triumph in Malaysia, he competed in the 2009 China Open losing in the Quarterfinals to eventual runner-up Marin Cilic 6-4 6-4. At the Shanghai Masters 1000 event he defeated 3 seeded players en route to the final, 10th seed Fernando Gonzalez, 13th seed Radek Stepanek, and 2nd seed Novak Djokovic. He upset Djokovic in the semifinal 4-6 6-4 7-6(1). In the final, he played Rafael Nadal and again won in an upset 7-6(3) 6-3.

At the ATP World Tour Finals in London, Davydenko won four of his five matches. He lost his first round robin match to Novak Djokovic 6-3 4-6 5-7, but he beat Nadal in his second match, 6-1 7-6(4). He also went on to stun the odds, beating his group leader (group B), Robin Soderling 7-6(4) 4-6 6-3 to reach the semi-finals. Thus he sent Djokovic crashing out as he became the 2nd worst in his group overall. He recorded his first win over Roger Federer in 13 tries in the semifinals with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 win. With the win, Davydenko advanced to his second consecutive ATP World Tour Finals final. He won by defeating Juan Martin del Potro in the final, 6-3, 6-4. His victory meant that he became the first Russian to win the event. The straight set victory also meant that the winner has won the event in straight sets for the fourth year in a row.

Davydenko finished the year ranked No. 6 in world and in the top 10 for the fifth consecutive year.

Playing style

Davydenko employs an offensive baseline game, using hard, penetrating groundstrokes on both wings. His groundstrokes are technically efficient on both forehand and backhand. He hits the ball extremely early which generates immense power and depth resembling former World No. 1 Andre Agassi. Davydenko's best shot is his backhand which he can hit down the line, cross court or with extreme angles. He is known for his running shots which he takes early and often turn into winners. Davydenko´s style makes him a good player on any surface, especially hardcourts and clay.

Davydenko's main weaknesses are his volleys, serve, and inability to close matches. His volleys are not as consistent as his groundstrokes, though he does have one of the best swinging volleys on tour. Many tennis analysts have also criticised Davydenko for lacking variation in his game due to the fact he mainly plays from the baseline with his consistent groundstrokes. In recent years, he has varied his game by employing the slice and moving into the net more often. His serve is consistent, but it also lacks power. Davydenko's difficulty closing matches has lost numerous important matches after holding the lead. This was evident during the 2006 Tennis Masters Cup against James Blake and Rafael Nadal where he won the first sets and had leads in the second but lost. Against Roger Federer he blew a lead at the 2006 Australian Open and the 2007 French Open. In the Australian Open, he had three set points in the second to go up 2 sets to 1, but lost the set and eventually the match.

Equipment

Davydenko is sponsored by Prince Sports and Airness. He brings his Prince racquet holdall and is currently using a Prince Ozone racquet, Asics shoes and Airness clothing.

Controversies

Davydenko criticised London during Wimbledon. Faced with questions alluding to his slightly boring personality he launched an attack on London claiming it was a "boring place". There were suggestions that Davydenko would be refused a Visa to enter the UK to play the 2009 event but he eventually turned up and was defeated by Tomas Berdych in the 3rd round.

The ATP launched a match-fixing investigation of Davydenko's match against Martín Vassallo Argüello in Sopotmarker of 2 August 2007, after several large bets were placed at an online British gambling company, Betfair, in Argüello's favour after Davydenko had won the first set 6–2. Davydenko withdrew from the match during the third set with a foot injury. Although Davydenko had suffered three first-round defeats in his last three tournaments, was injured in an earlier-round match, and showed signs of injury in the second set, it did not make sense to Betfair that such a heavy betting volume would go in Argüello's direction at that point of time in the match. Per its agreement with the ATP, Betfair notified the Tour. It has since been revealed that nine people based in Russia had bet US$1.5m on Davydenko losing while two unknown people would gain US$6m from the loss. A total of $7 m was wagered on the match, ten times the usual amount. Due to these irregularities, all bets were voided. On September 11, 2008 Davydenko, along with Arguello, was cleared of any involvement in match-fixing. At over a year in the process, the inquiry was the longest ever held into match-fixing in tennis.

Further controversy had also surrounded Davydenko after one of his matches at St. Petersburg Open in October 2007. During his 1–6, 7–5, 6–1 defeat by Marin Cilic he was given a code violation by umpire Jean-Philippe Dercq for not giving his best effort. He was later fined $2000 (£987) by the governing body of men's Tennis, the ATP, but the fine was rescinded upon appeal. The following week, he lost 6–2, 6–2 to Marcos Baghdatis at the Paris Masters. This generated some controversy, as Davydenko was cautioned by the umpire to do his best during the match.

Major finals

Year-End Championship Finals

Singles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner-up)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 2008 Shanghai Hard (i) Novak Djokovic 1–6, 5–7
Winner 2009 London Hard (i) Juan Martín del Potro 6–3, 6–4


Masters Series finals

Singles: 3 (3 titles)

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 2006 Paris Carpet (i) Dominik Hrbatý 6–1, 6–2, 6–2
Winner 2008 Miamimarker Hard Rafael Nadal 6–4, 6–2
Winner 2009 Shanghai Hard Rafael Nadal 7–6(3), 6–3


Career finals

Singles: 24 (19-5)

Wins (19)
Legend (pre/post 2009)
Grand Slam Tournaments (0)
Tennis Masters Cup /

ATP World Tour Finals (1)
ATP Masters Series /

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (3)
ATP International Series Gold /

ATP World Tour 500 Series (1)
ATP International Series /

ATP World Tour 250 Series (14)
Titles by Surface
Hard (7)
Clay (9)
Grass (0)
Carpet (3)


No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
1. January 5, 2003 Adelaide, Australiamarker Hard Kristof Vliegen 6–2, 7–6(3)
2. April 13, 2003 Estoril, Portugalmarker Clay Agustín Calleri 6–4, 6–3
3. May 2, 2004 Munich, Germanymarker Clay Martin Verkerk 6–4, 7–5
4. October 17, 2004 Moscow, Russia Carpet (i) Greg Rusedski 3–6, 6–3, 7–5
5. May 21, 2005 St. Pölten, Austria Clay Jürgen Melzer 6–3, 2–6, 6–4
6. May 27, 2006 Pörtschach, Austria Clay Andrei Pavel 6–0, 6–3
7. August 6, 2006 Sopot, Poland Clay Florian Mayer 7–6(6), 5–7, 6–4
8. August 26, 2006 New Haven, United States Hard Agustín Calleri 6–4, 6–3
9. October 15, 2006 Moscow, Russia Carpet (i) Marat Safin 6–4, 5–7, 6–4
10. November 5, 2006 Paris, France Carpet (i) Dominik Hrbatý 6–1, 6–2, 6–2
11. October 14, 2007 Moscow, Russia Hard (i) Paul-Henri Mathieu 7–5, 7–6(9)
12. April 6, 2008 Miami, Floridamarker Hard Rafael Nadal 6–4, 6–2
13. May 24, 2008 Pörtschach, Austria Clay Juan Mónaco 6–2, 2–6, 6–2
14. June 9, 2008 Warsaw, Poland Clay Tommy Robredo 6–3, 6–3
15. July 26, 2009 Hamburg, Germany Clay Paul-Henri Mathieu 6–4, 6–2
16. August 2, 2009 Umag, Croatia Clay Juan Carlos Ferrero 6–3, 6–0
17. October 3, 2009 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Hard (i) Fernando Verdasco 6–4, 7–5
18. October 18, 2009 Shanghai, China Hard Rafael Nadal 7–6(3), 6–3
19. Nov. 29, 2009 London, England, United Kingdom Hard (i) Juan Martin del Potro 6–3, 6–4


Runner-ups (5)
Legend (pre/post 2009)
Tennis Masters Cup /

ATP World Tour Finals (1)
ATP Masters Series /

ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (0)
ATP International Series Gold /

ATP World Tour 500 Series (0)
ATP International Series /

ATP World Tour 250 Series (4)


No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
1. 26 May, 2003 St. Pölten, Austriamarker Clay Andy Roddick 6–3, 6–2
2. 8 May, 2006 Estorilmarker, Portugalmarker Clay David Nalbandian 6–3, 6–4
3. 17 July, 2006 Båstad, Swedenmarker Clay Tommy Robredo 6–2, 6–1
4. 20 April, 2008 Estoril, Portugal Clay Roger Federer 7–6(5), 1–2, retired
5. 16 November, 2008 Tennis Masters Cup, Shanghai, Chinamarker Hard (i) Novak Djokovic 6–1, 7–5


Doubles: 3 (1-2)

Win (1)
Legend (pre/post 2009)
ATP International Series /

ATP World Tour 250 Series (1)


No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponent in the final Score in the final
1. October 17, 2004 Moscow, Russiamarker Carpet (I) Igor Andreev Mahesh Bhupathi

Jonas Björkman
3–6, 6–3, 6–4


Runner-ups (2)
Legend (pre/post 2009)
ATP International Series /

ATP World Tour 250 Series (2)


No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponent in the final Score in the final
1. October 17, 2005 Moscowmarker, Russiamarker Carpet (i) Igor Andreev Max Mirnyi

Mikhail Youzhny
1–6, 1–6
2. June 9, 2008 Warsawmarker, Polandmarker Clay Yuri Schukin Mariusz Fyrstenberg

Marcin Matkowski
0–6, 6–3, 4-10


Team title



Performance timeline

Tournament 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 Career SR Career win-loss
Australian Openmarker A A 2R 1R 1R 2R QF QF QF 4R A 0 / 8 17–8
French Openmarker A A 2R 2R 2R 1R SF QF SF 3R QF 0 / 9 23–8
Wimbledonmarker A A A 1R 1R 1R 2R 1R 4R 1R 3R 0 / 8 6–8
US Openmarker A A 1R 2R 2R 3R 2R SF SF 4R 4R 0 / 9 21–9
Year-End Championship
ATP World Tour Finals A A A A A A SF RR RR F W 1 / 5 12–7
ATP Masters Series 1000
Indian Wells Mastersmarker A A A LQ A 1R 2R 3R 4R 3R A 0 / 5 4–5
Miami Mastersmarker A A A 2R 1R 2R 2R 4R 3R W A 1 / 6 11–6
Monte Carlo Mastersmarker A A LQ LQ 1R QF 3R 1R 2R SF QF 0 / 7 10–7
Rome Mastersmarker A A LQ 1R 2R 3R 1R 3R SF 3R 2R 0 / 8 9–7
Madrid Masters A A LQ A 1R A 3R 2R A 2R 3R 0 / 5 1–4
Canada Masters A A A A 2R A 3R 1R QF 3R QF 0 / 6 8–6
Cincinnati Masters A A A A 1R A QF 1R SF 2R 3R 0 / 6 7–6
Shanghai Masters Not Held NMS Not Held Not Masters Series W 1 / 1 5–0
Paris Masters A A A A 1R 2R QF W 3R SF 3R 1 / 7 12–6
Hamburg Mastersmarker A A A LQ 2R 1R SF QF 3R 3R NMS 0 / 6 10–6
Tournaments Played 0 1 15 24 33 32 31 34 31 24 23 N/A 248
Finals Reached 0 0 0 0 3 2 1 7 1 5 5 N/A 24
ATP Tournaments Won 0 0 0 0 2 2 1 5 1 3 5 N/A 19
Overall Win-Loss 0-0 3-1 6-15 12-24 30-33 33-29 56-30 69-29 53-31 56-21 57-17 N/A 375-230
Percentage Win 0% 75% 29% 46% 48% 53% 65% 69% 63% 73% 77% N/A 62%
Year End Ranking 653 133 79 81 44 28 5 3 4 5 6 N/A N/A
  • A = did not participate in the tournament
  • LQ = lost in the qualifying draw
  • SR = the ratio of the number of singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played


ATP Tour career earnings

Year Majors ATP titles Total titles Earnings ($) Money list rank
1999 0 0 0 $3,137
2000 0 0 0 $41,328
2001 0 0 0 $153,267
2002 0 0 0 $235,304 93
2003 0 2 2 $466,384 51
2004 0 2 2 $651,372 30
2005 0 1 1 $1,628,299 6
2006 0 5 5 $2,026,845 4
2007 0 1 1 $2,051,775 4
2008 0 3 3 $2,317,082 5
2009 0 4 4 $2,149,160 7
Career 0 18 18 $11,729,499 23


  • As of November 23, 2009


References

External links




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