WTFinale: Long time coming.
Is there anyone out there who isn’t happy for Nikolay Davydenko? It’s been such a long time coming, but good things happen to those persist, and it’s been such a well-deserved win for Davo.
For the casual tennis followers, Davo’s probably about as fascinating as a pencil sharpener. But give it time and the little Russian will grow on you. If his press conferences this week were anything to go by, I had majorly underestimated his personal charisma.
Then again, underestimation is the summary of Davydenko’s career and relationship with the media.
Q. At what time did you go to sleep yesterday?
NIKOLAY Davydenko: At 3. Because I was coming at 1, do massage, one and a half hour. But if you see, I play three times the night session. That was always the same time I go to sleep. Today I sleep just seven hours, but feeling okay really. Seven hours was enough.
Q. Sleeping alone?
NIKOLAY Davydenko: Come on. I have wife. Come on, come on. What do you want, two girls, three girls, four girls?
Q. You are a Russian.
NIKOLAY Davydenko: I came Russian, but I’m not Safin (smiling).
After the two high-quality semis, the ATP World Tour Final appeared to be slightly underwhelming. Pee came out flat-footed, no doubt exhausted from the effort to beat the Swedish God last night, while Davydenko hugged the baseline and took the ball in the impossibly early way that he does.
It was fast, too fast in fact for Pee, who was forced to scramble in a match of what he called “playstation” tennis. A break each set did the trick, and while the level from Pee lifted in the second set, he had no where near the sort of concentration and intensity that he took into the match against Feduhruh.
True to its acronym-fail, the World Tour Finals raised more questions than it answered. I’ll skip the question marks over Nadal and Federer, except to say that I’m not too worried (yet) about those two.
Rafa has Davis Cup coming up, where he’ll no doubt do his best to end the year on a high.
While he left London without a title, Fed got his hands on the crystal No 1 trophy and wrestled back some control in his non-rivalry with Murray.
With a single win over Federer, del Potro made up for his shambolic post-US Open performance and erased some doubts as to whether the US Open final was a fluke. Although .. I saw what I saw and what I saw smelt like potty.
But what of Davydenko? Can he win a slam now that he’s beaten everyone in the top 10? No one will question that he has the game, but in the unchartered territory of a best-of-5 slam final, he might need his opponent to donate some freebies, as Fed did in New York. And before he even gets there, he’ll always be vulnerable to the “Soderlings” of the tour.
Last but not least, I started 2009 thinking Robin Soderling looked like an oversized rodent and ended the year calling him a series of mushy nicknames: Sodercakes, Dimples, le Sod, le Swedish God with a sexy Bod …
No peeps, Sodders is not evil reincarnate. He’s just a little misunderstood, a little dorky and a bad yoker.
And that’s the wrap from WTF,