ADELAIDE Jan. 5, 2002
Russian Goes All the Way in Adelaide
Nikolay Davydenko claims his first ATP title.
Twenty-one year old Nikolay Davydenko held off a late match fight back by Belgian qualifier Kristof Vliegen to win his first ATP title at the AAPT Championships, with a 6-2, 7-6(3) scoreline in Adelaide, Australia.
Davydenko played error free tennis right up until he served for the match leading 5 games to 4 in the second set when Vliegen regained his focus to break the Russian, conceding just one point while securing the crucial late match break. Davydenko, who had been solid from the baseline throughout the match, regained control in the final set tie breaker, losing just three points on his way to a 1 hour and 15 minute victory.
Davydenko stuck with his game plan of steady baseline play to frustrate the 20-year-old Vliegen, who showed the signs of pressure of playing in his first ATP final. Vliegen's aggressive game produced too many errors at critical times and Davydenko took full advantage.
Davydenko's first serve found the target 76 percent of the time, making it difficult for the hard hitting Vliegen to put pressure on his service games and some timely passing shots from the baseline put the heat on Vliegen when he approached the net.
WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID
Davydenko: "I tried to concentrate hard in the final and I tried to play at full pace and make no mistakes. I could see he had trouble concentrating when I hit a lot of balls during a point. I did get a little nervous when I was serving for the match at 5-4, but I relaxed again in the tie breaker.
"I'm very happy. It's great to win my first ATP title because some players in the top 100 never get a tournament title. Now I want to keep coming up."
Vliegen: " I think I felt a little bit nervous but he wasn't an easy guy to play. I'm a tall guy and I wasn't moving so fast from the back of the court so I think tactically he played pretty good for the whole match. It was frustrating but I kept on fighting the whole second set even when I was a down a break at 4-5. I think he got a little bit nervous there and he missed his first two forehands for the whole match.
"I had to go for my shots because on every point he would never miss a ball. I needed a bit of luck but he was the better player today. But even after losing the final today it is good for me because now I know what I have to work on."
I also posted some articles in the Adelaide forum
Congrats to Nikolay!! It's always nice to have a winning Russian