An interview with Nikolay Davydenko - Friday, June 8, 2007
Q. It was very close today. Do you feel any big frustration?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I feel more like, it was, how I say, it was pretty tough match. It was physically tough and mentally. Because we both play fast tennis, and he played fast, I tried to play fast. But I know I have not enough power for all match, that was. And important points, if he get like, you know, if he have important points, he have more concentration and just he tried to finish in this one. He tried to win.
And by my important points, I'm losing. So not always, but more. Today was many points, important points I'm losing. That was the match was close, but close not for me, for him. That was like he won.
Q. Does it leave you wondering what you have to do to beat him? You had a lead in all three sets, and he just somehow manages, even when he's not playing that great, to come up with the victory.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, like I get in second set, I serve for the set, in the first set. And first set, I was at break chance, and like, I have break, and like my serve.
But in some different, like, games, or some, like, one point by 4-3, he just broke me in the first set. He did something. He changed tennis, little bit changing, and I was surprising. And it was tough for me. Because he was always play top spin and won, just few points he start to play slice, and returning slice, short points to, like, and I need to move more, and, like, I did mistakes.
And that was he broke me in the first set, mentally a little bit. And this was pretty tough to, you know, come back and play the same good, like baseline in the second and third set.
Q. What did you think when he shot his incredible ace with second serve at 5-5 in the tiebreak?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Lucky. It was lucky, because good kick top spin, but to the line and from the lines bring ball fast, you know. That was the ace. If he was not on the line, I would have more chance, you know, to returning.
Q. Despite losing, does it give you some encouragement, because you played him really tough and close, probably better than maybe the previous outings?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: No, today match, for me, from my side, I proved more like how I can play, like, against Federer. I did today well. Like normally with these points what I did today, play fast, and I think it was good way. But it's not enough. This was -- I did -- I was tired. I lose my concentration in some important point, and I losing games and I'm losing sets. That was in every time what I was starting, you know, to just normal.
Like, if everybody see you, I just only need win my serve, and I can win set, you know, match. But I didn't. This was -- yeah, in important points, I think, was not for -- I don't speak about for all match, I speak for few points, you know, close, where I can win match.
Q. Can you talk about the beginning of the match, because you were so faster? It was possible to go on two sets like this? Three sets like this?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Maybe I did mistake. I was starting to play fast from my serve and returning. It was -- I also fighting in return. It was all time I have. I always changing the return, winning return by first set. And I losing so much power. And that was with this one.
And in the second set, I was already more tired. I need to know how I need to use my power longer, not just for one set. And then, like, didn't play any -- have no chance, you know, to play second or third set. Yeah, this is -- yeah. I would say I have power, but not enough. Normally, I need to get more.
Q. You spoke about how Roger was able to change his game. Is that one of his best strengths, and is he the best in the sport at changing his game plan and at switching tactics?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah. Normally, a good player, very good players always changing something in like tactic. And he have, in important points, like, he have last match point, and he did, you know, returning slice shot. It was already, you know, interesting, because he tried to do something different. If he have no chance to play like this, he changing something, like make slice, or different point. This was -- yeah, that's why he is No. 1.
And if I have chance by break him, like Love-40, and he make three aces, you know, so good concentration by first serve, and always doing a kick, good kick to the lines, and I have no chance to returning. Yeah, he is, like, good player.
Q. So it's difficult just to keep up with him?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: It's not like -- yes. Like, I play, and, like, we always play from baseline, try to make winners. And Roger have, like, Love-40, and come in, only make serve, didn't lose so much power. And like, still, you know, winning games with the serve, just with serve. This is very good.
Q. Did you feel that you made him, you made -- Federer looked like he struggled, he struggled today? And do you take some comfort that at least you made him struggle? You weren't rolled over 6-2, 6-2, 6-1. It was a really, really tough match. Does that give you some kind of encouragement?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I was coming to the match, not like losing 6-2, 6-2, 6-1, yeah. I was trying to make my game, and I did. I just try to play what I like to do. I beginning play fast, and I was try to play more faster. But if I losing my power, I try to do better and better, but I can't. You know, how possible, you know, if you're tired. You're losing concentration. You're losing power. And you stay on the court, you think, Now what I need to do?
You play against a guy who play fast, but you have no power, you cannot run right-left. Then you try to change something, but, you know, better just go from the court, like, stop match.
But, yeah, that was important, yeah. Maybe I am not so strong enough. I need to be more stronger. I'll try (smiling).
Q. Some players start to get angry, they start to crash their racquets and swear, and, you know, whatever. But Federer keeps calm. Does that get to you as a player, that you just don't know what he's thinking or what he's going to do?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Not only is he good mentally concentration for every point, this was -- he's still quiet, you know, on the court. But in important point, he have more concentration. He just try to win this point. If not, he tries next one.
It was -- yeah, this way what he play always, is I think the best way for the tennis, for winning matches, like, always concentration and be quiet on the court.
Q. Did you feel any trouble with your back today?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: How you know? I have trouble already many days ago, but, you know, it's like if you're already running on the court and you're tired, you know, then you have some little bit problem, you're painful everywhere. You know, yeah, some painful. But I don't want to say now I'm losing because I have back pain, foot pain, knee pain, everything pain. Everybody has is painful. But you need to play, and you need to stand, you know, on the court and try to win matches. Doesn't matter what you're feeling.