Nikolay Davydenko Interview - Australian Open, Jan 23Posted on January 23, 2010
An interview with: NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. In the 12 straight wins you conceded fewer games in a Grand Slam in this tournament. Can you keep up this excellent form? Do you think about it?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Really, it's difficult to say why it's happening. Maybe it's good. I was feeling today was much better my concentration in a match. And beginning start already. I fighting for every point, and that's what maybe it was 6‑Love in the first set and 3‑Love. Because like say I didn't make it any mistake, you know, like say nine games.
But I can't holding all match like this. I know I losing in some points with concentration, some games. I can losing games. That's was I start to get really tired in the end of second set and was already start for my difficult.
Holding the same level like first set and third set is really different was.
Q. Why are you playing better tennis this year than last year or the year before?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Because I'm older. (Laughter.). I don't know really. It's difficult, really difficult to say why. Maybe it's depends how many matches you did and against who you play and against who you win.
Maybe if like last year I beat so many good guys: Federer, Nadal, and you know, Del Potro. Also like in Shanghai, I beat Djokovic. Very tough matches. It's like feeling I have very good confidence. Maybe my tennis a little bit change. Maybe I start to play a bit faster and do not so many mistake.
It's really you can talk about tennis many hours. It's really difficult explain here in press why it's change.
Q. This year, everyone thinks you can win a Grand Slam. Did you think that about yourself last year or is it different this year?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Last year I didn't play here. It's very good for me. I feeling very good confidence now.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I really also surprising in Paris last year. I did very good match against Verdasco, and I really play very bad against Soderling in the quarterfinal. Sometimes I don't understand this feeling.
You know, really it's ‑‑ I hope ‑‑ you know, I hope I holding this level, you know. Every day and all this tournament, all these two weeks before.
Also in Roland Garros happened. Before match, I feel very good. Like my confidence was very high. Wake up next day, you know, just before match, I feel complete different situation. I lost three sets easy.
That's was I don't want to tell you guys, yes, now I want to win. Like say for sure I want to win now here Grand Slam. But this level, if I keep it, maybe I have chance. Maybe I have chance to win. Depends how every match. You know, like now I have Verdasco.
It's also not easy. Okay, I beat him many times. Last year he was semifinal here and he play very well here. For sure he want to play the same level like last year. That's my feeling. It's what I do in the court now, like every match. For me, it's important. That's was you guys. You want to think whatever you want. (Smiling.)
Q. Are you a superstitious man? Are you repeating what you do before every match that you've been on this run since London? Do you have superstitions?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Not really. No, I always forget what was passing me. Just I want to see in the next week, in the future, what I can do better.
For sure I see some, you know, realize some mistake, what I did last week and like last tournament. For sure I don't want to do next week. For me, it's for sure important do ‑‑ I think for my life, for my career, for my tennis, do my perfect tennis. Find this perfect tennis. Play fast, to do no mistake. Play volley. Everything.
I'm 28. I hope I can do in 29 and 30 much better. We'll see how my body, you know, still be with no injury. I think if I can holding like this to be fit for this season, I hope I can.
Q. So much of the emphasis on tennis these days in the men's game is about players who are 6'7", 6'9". We have Karlovic, Isner, Del Potro. Huge men. Here you are.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Come on. But I am not so small.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: To another guy, maybe.
Q. There are different ways of succeed in tennis.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: But these guys running like me? No.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: These guys just have different tennis. I think it's now at this time, if you see, it's tennis is so much different. Everybody can play. You know, some guys who make good serve and play volley and another guys running play only baseline and play very well.
That's was I ‑‑ Nadal also 6'0".
Q. A lot of stories in the papers are about how the male tennis player is getting bigger and bigger. When you walk past Isner you must think he's a giant.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: But why everybody scare me? Of me, I mean.
Q. Maybe you scare them more than they scare you.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, but I hope I do my level, you know, and I can beat every 6'0" guys in the tour.
Q. Are you still one of the least‑known players? Do you get bothered for your autograph? You said no one in London did at all. Are you becoming a little bit more...
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: If I go outside now here, it's be difficult to do in autograph. But in the street in the city, yes it's easy. Nobody recognize me and it's good feeling really. Really good feeling.
Q. You live your life.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yes. I like what ‑‑ how I enjoy my life, yes, like this.
Q. If you make the final, would you like to play on Margaret Court Arena? You've spent a lot of time out there. Are you disappointed that you haven't played on center court yet?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: No, no. Why? It's always I know I starting here at Australia at Show Court 2, Margaret, then maybe Vodafone, like before was, yeah.
I don't know. Rod Laver, it's from quarterfinal always I starting to play. That's was I think it's good. I know I'm not like No. 1, No. 2 like always will need to play on center court.
But, if I know if I reach quarterfinal and I play center, it's also good feeling, you know, like coming here, 2010, I play if center court Australian Open.
Q. If you win a Grand Slam, what do you think will happen in Russia?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I don't go to Russia after Australian Open. That's was nothing happen there. (Laughter.) I have another tournaments, you know. I celebrate another tournaments then. It's okay.
Q. Do you think the people of Russia will celebrate?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I don't think so. It's not like football. Not really. In soccer, yes, everybody go in the street drinking. But I don't think so if I win Grand Slam everybody start to drink, all Russia. I don't think so. But it's Monday. It be Monday next day and everybody need work.
Q. Do you think you'll get a call from Marat Safin if you win?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: He's now in Argentina. How can I call him?
Q. You don't think he will call you if you win a Grand Slam?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Why if I see him in Davis Cup in Moscow?
Q. If you're in Russia, do people recognize you in the streets? Do they know you?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Sometimes looking me, and then not believe it's me. Because Russia, like people think about how he can walk on the street because always he driving car. Never you see, you know, really famous people just walking somewhere.
Like say if you go in, I don't know, like in the bath sitting somewhere, people watching you and go, No, it's can't be him. It's not normal. It's mentally Russian.
Q. When the girls won Grand Slam and Myskina won the French Open, Putin rung her up. Do you expect a call from Medvedev?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Call? He didn't know my mobile number. But he did already send me to Russian Federation after I won London. Yeah, that's was very nice, what he did.
Q. What did he do? Tell us what he did.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: What he did? Just congratulate me winning World Cup in London, blah, blah, blah. Just letter. Like he want to send to me in London, but he don't know which hotel I stay. That's was he send to Russian Federation. I hope I pick up now this letter if I go to Moscow.
Q. Is the tournament really beginning now?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Now tournament begin? Yeah, I'm already spend two weeks here.
Q. Is it getting tough, the real tournament is starting now?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Maybe. I don't know. We will see after Verdasco match. Just now we all top 10 players. Yeah, it's fourth round. Yeah, like I tell before, also difficult for me third round because very good player. Mostly everybody good player. Depends of me, how I play.
If I play well, I hope I have chance to win.
Q. If you had to marry another Russian tennis player, who would it be?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Marry?
Q. Get married, like husband and wife.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: If I married another tennis player? Man or woman? (Laughter.). I have already wife. I have my beautiful wife. I don't want to have any ‑‑
IRINA DAVYDENKO: I hear you.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: She's here.
Q. Sorry about that. (Laughter.)