No one can or should take away the merit the ATP World Tour No. 7 Nikolay Davydenko had in capturing the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals trophy at The O2 in south-east London.
Davydenko defeated no less than Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 6-4, the slayer of Roger Federer and Robin Soderling.
“I was [looking at the trophy], until 2008, [there are] so many names there, like Djokovic, Federer, everyone, [Pete] Sampras,” said Davydenko, who was contesting his fifth straight year-end championship. “In 2009, [it says] Davydenko forever on this trophy. I think it’s amazing. [In the] history of the [Finals], for my name to be there is something amazing for me.”
Davidenko had a great run and deserved to win, but del Potro was running on empty and the kick from the young horse from the pampas was not there. Therefore the saying applies; ‘Easy to Beat a Dead Horse!’
Nevertheless, del Potro unlike Roger Federer ( Tennis – The Dark Side of Federer? ) showed great sportmanship right at the end of the match, by sincerely congratulating his opponent at the net and with his words to Davidenko in front of the crowd.
“This tournament has a great champion, like Nikolay,” said del Potro, a winner of three tour-level titles this season. “He worked hard to beat every player here this week. So maybe I have to improve a little bit the little things. But he played much better than me, and that’s it. He played unbelievable tennis. He beat me in a good way.”
This gestures are the ones of a true champion and show that del Potro is a young man that is about substance not just an image others created. Hope del Potro will stay like this through his tennis carrier.
As for Davidenko he has had the opportunity to beat Federer clearly in at least 4 occasions all of them in Grand-Slams but, incompetent coaching cost him those missed opportunities and possibly 4 Grand Slam titles.
In this occasion the problem with the double faults, weak second serves and mental melt downs in important points was solved (?) and he won. In spite of the press derogatory attitude towards Davidenko, I think he his a great player and a champion.
He has several qualities that separates him from the regular player:
– He plays more tournaments than any of his peers.
– He works on and off the court as true professional must and therefore in my mind despite his fragile appearance he his and has been, at least in the last 5 or 6 years, the fittest player on the ATP tour.
– He is humble and intelligent, with a sense of deep respect for all of his opponents, just like he demonstrated when he defeated Federer in the most fantastic/frustrating win of his career, by not celebrating, apart from a modest gesture of thanks to his camp at the end of the match.
– He is fast, very, very fast and in tennis it can be a great weapon!
If there is someone I would be happy for a win such as the ATP World Tour Finals, Davidenko was at the top of my list. Congratulations Nikolay!
In the end the only player showing true fitness was Davidenko and he prevailed, do you think the other players are just not training hard enough?
Or, is the ATP pushing the envelope so far that it begs the question:
– ATP World Tour Finals – Do They Shoot Horses too?