Winner of Malaysian Open 2009
KUALA LUMPUR: After a slow start to the season because of a left heel injury Nikolay Davydenko is having a strong second half and has become only the fifth player to win three or more titles.
The Russian world number eight and top seed won the inaugural Proton Malaysian Open Kuala Lumpur 2009 with a 6-4, 7-5 victory over Fernando Verdasco in one hour 35 minutes. It was only the sixth time this year that the top two seeds were meeting in a final.
“I feel tired because it was really difficult match against Verdasco,” Davydenko said. “Every point was not easy as I needed to run a lot. I had to fight for point step by step it was hard but I remained focus.
“However Verdasco did not play his usual game and I tried to do different things.”
The Russian said really enjoyed playing in Kuala Lumpur and “will definitely be back to defend my title”. He added that he didn’t get a chance to see the sights but “it was a great trip to KL being it my first time”. One place he wanted to visit was the zoo but hopes to be able to do that the next time.
There was no monkeying around by either player as the first game of the final was the longest of the match as Verdasco survived six deuces and three break points to hold serve but it was in the seventh game, which so often is the crucial game that Davydenko scored a break and three games later served out the set to love.
The Russian was on course to win his 17th career title from 22 finals.
Again he had Verdasco under pressure in the first game of the second set which the Spaniard dropped with a double fault, but with the crowd so firmly behind him, Verdasco turned the tables on he number one seed and broke back immediately.
The atmosphere around Putra Stadium was electric and at times deafening and it created incredibly excitement for the first event.
Both players were finding it tough to hold serve and in the tenth game Verdasco had his best chance to take it into a deciding set. He had Davydenko down 0/40 and facing three set points but the Russian hit a winner on one while Verdasco sent two returns out as Davydenko won five points in a row to level at 5-5.
The Spaniard dropped serve in the next game as Davydenko brought up two match points on his serve – the first one he double faulted and on the second one Verdasco hit the ball out.
“I think I had many opportunities during the match,” Verdasco said. “He just played better in some of the important points and in the second set I couldn't convert the set points which could have changed the outcome of the match.
“I am happy with the week in Kuala Lumpur. I came here without having played much tennis because of my foot injury. It was important to get some confidence and rhythm for the next tournaments.”
The doubles final was won by the Polish combination of Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski. They defeated Igor Kunitsyn of Russia and Jaroslav Levinsky of the Czech Republic 6-2, 6-1 in 54 minutes. For the Polish tandem it was their second title of the year having won at Eastbourne just before Wimbledon in June.
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About the Proton Malaysian Open, Kuala Lumpur 2009
The tournament is an ATP World Tour 250 Series event. The singles main draw will have a field of 28 players while the doubles draw will have 16 teams. The tournament carries total prize money of USD 947,750 and will be played at the 16,000 seat Putra Stadium at Bukit Jalil Sports Complex, September 26 and October 4. The tournament is organised by IMG and is supported by the Government of Malaysia.
For more information please visit: www.MalaysianOpenTennis.com