Originally Posted by Time Violation
Well, that is the problem, having to be perfect in best of 5 is a tall order, and he doesn't have much of a plan B, if his timing is off, that's it.
Well yes, while impressive at its best, his game was never the sort of the game that would allow for consistency/domination, but winning one or two Slams was far from beyond reach imo. He lacked in key aspects such as mental strength and focus, which active Grand Slam winners generally have in spades.
Despite all that, one can't help but feel that he did not maximize his career; at no point in his career did he focus around peaking for Slams nor did he ever set his target to try and win one. People often accuse this era's most immediate challengers to the elite (Berdych, Tsonga) of being mentally weak, but compared to Davydenko they are giants in that regard. The most disappointing isn't even that Davydenko didn't win a Slam (not even reached a final), but rather that at no point did it feel like he could win one or that he was even targetting that goal as a career priority.
Great and Accurate posts of all of you about Davy but ... just to clear things up ... he isn't mentally weak (He won and is still winning many important points by being clutch) .. but in his game there's no place for rest ... a little below maximum concentration and everything is gone thus it seems that he is choking ... but he is actually fighting! ... have you ever tried to play like that ? it can only be done when you're MEZMERIZING talent , have Perfect timing/hand-eye-coordination and with 100% confidnce ! ... the thing is he hadn't had the belief that he'll do something big !
All of his career he played tournaments for confidence ... He played so many tournaments that his motivation (not anything else) burned out.
Davydenko is nothing short of incredible http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOwyrFx44GE
He even ON CLAY plays on the rise that's the most difficult thing in tennis ... cause the ball is spinning (faster after bounce) and bouncing Higher !
To end all of this: 2006 Davydenko was something ... graciously beautiful to watch ... IDK what it would've been if i saw him while winning Paris-Bercy in 2006 ... something beautiful like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUBXwBiEBcg
Agree with the rest, but when someone as good as Davydenko doesn't believe they can do something big, they're mentally weak, no two ways about it. Look at Del Potro for instance: he's nowhere near as talented a shotmaker as Davydenko, he's not as fit and he has struggled with injuries far more. Yet he has managed to win a Slam simply due to far exceeding Davydenko as far as mental strength, focus, belief are concerned, basically as a competitor overall. He actually has less reason than Davydenko to believe that he can do something big, but he does believe it and he did it.
Davydenko is incredible as a player - of all players I watched live he was probably the one I was most impressed with, he's amazing to watch - but a very poor competitor.
Nalbandian by far. Followed by Wawrinka and Haas.
Davydenko underachieved but not that much, he should have at least one or 2 slam finals, but the rest of his career is great, 3 M1000, a WTF, a good amount of titles, etc.
Haas is not an underachiever. Players who haven't achieved more due to injuries shouldn't be mentioned since it's out of their control. If we consider Haas as an underachiever, we have to make a list of every player who had their career derailed by injuries really, that's different from underacheving.
As for Davydenko, that 'good amount of titles' is the reason his career must be seen as a sort of disappointing, he scheduled like Ferrer when he had 10x the ability. At the time I actually liked that he played almost every week since I love watching him play, but in hindsight if there was an award for the worst scheduler in history Davydenko would have to be in with a shot.