Nikolay Davydenko – The Mystery Man

Player Profiles
By Hiland Doolittle, March 9th, 2010
Nikolay Davydenko of Russia

Nikolay Davydenko of Russia

Nikolay Davydenko and Andy Murray share the distinction of being the two best players on the professional circuit without a Grand Slam Championship to their credit. That is no easy cross to bear.  While the flashy Murray gets loads of criticism, Davydenko’s resume shortcoming goes relatively unnoticed.  But, time is running out for the talented Russian.

His resume is impressive.  At age 29, the 5’10” strategist and all court player has little to prove, but that first major would make a good career into a great career.

This is a man who has won more than $16 million on tour since 1999, compiled 20 tour victories and won the last 6 ATP finals in which he has played.  He also has the impressive distinction of only being the second player to put away Roger Federer and Nadal in successive tournaments.  No easy task.

In winning in Doha to stat the 2010 season, Davydenko rallied from an 0-6 first set to overtake Nadal, an almost impossible task.  The win was the first time in 338 matches that he had come back from an 0-6 hole.  It was only the tenth time Davydenko had lost a love set since his professional debut.  Now, that’s consistency.

Nikolay’s career record stands at 388 – 233.  He has won 107 tiebreakers and lost 88.  His ATP finals record is an impressive 20 –5. Heading into Indian Wells, he stands at 13-3 in 2010.

It seemed Davydenko had eventual winner Roger Federer on the ropes again in Melbourne.  Up a set and with a break at 2-0, his remarkable run looked to be continuing.  But, just as quickly as he burst from the gate, Federer turned the tables.  Inexplicably, Davydenko began to spray shots and commit uncharacteristic errors in strategy and execution.

These periods of erratic play have blemished an otherwise stellar career.  Surprisingly, Davydenko is equally effective on clay as he is on the harder surfaces.  His clay record is 164 – 88.  On the hard courts, he stands at 184-112.

2006 was the Russian’s finest year.  He compiled 69 match triumphs and won 5 ATP titles.  He reached the quarterfinals or better in 15 of his 32 tournaments.

Perhaps his best win in 2009 was the Barclay’s ATP Tour Finals in a stirring match against Juan Martin del Potro.  He finished the year in the top 6 for the fifth consecutive year.

Davydenko is dangerous.  He has the experience to identify the opposition’s weaknesses and the skills to exploit those flaws.  His multi-dimensional strengths far outweigh his very few weaknesses.  He is serving as well as he ever has and could score at Indian Wells.  Never count this guy out!

Birth DateFebruary 6, 1981 (29)
ResidenceVolgograd, Russia
Weight154 lbs
Year Turned Pro1999
Current Rank – Singles6
Current Rank – Doubles0
Career Prize Earnings$13,710,649
Year-To- Date – Earnings$471,450
Grand Slam (Singles)0
Australian Open0
French Open0
U.S. Open0
Grand Slam Doubles0



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