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Re: Presser after Finals - Nadal Match at Shanghai Masters


October 18, 2009

Nikolay Davydenko


7-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are your feelings? And did you think that it would be so easy, quote unquote?

Q. Win, two sets.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Um, you know, if it was only one hour, I say maybe it was easy, but we play not one hour. We play one hour and something first set, and for me was, like, say 4-All in first set I was feeling like I losing my chance to win first set, because he come back. He start -- he break me back, and I feel I start to make more mistake and feeling concentration, tired already, like -- I don't know how can, how long I can holding, you know, just this concentration win the match.
And, you know, maybe it was good I was coming till tiebreak. It was no break again, and he didn't win 7-5 or 6-4, just was tiebreak and I was concentration like always I do in tiebreak. Like yesterday and today I play very well in tiebreak, winning, and then I feeling something I have chance, you know, fighting second set.
Doesn't matter how much power I have, just feeling how long I can holding in the match. If I have chance to win second set, I know I try to realize, and was feeling like after I was break him, and, you know, was, you know, feeling was, yes, I can win, you know, today. And was 6-3 in the second was it's not so easy, because I see his starting try come back.
Like after 5-2, he winning easy serve and you know, my serve just was lucky, make first few serves, first one, and was make some winners and was last, you know, two rallies was, for me, it was I think most importantly from baseline, because I know Nadal always try, you know, to do no mistake, and in important points try to run and to try, you know, waiting mistake from other players.
And it was -- I think a little bit was lucky, but mostly I was play very well today.
I think I tell everything, no? I can finish now.

Q. How does this compare with your previous two Masters wins, Bercy and Miami?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Um, you know, I can say Bercy it was hurt bodies. It was not top 10 player. I think in Bercy I was favorite.
In Miami and here, I think Nadal was favorite because he's No. 2 in the world, and mostly he make more result in the big tournament, he winning more tournament.
I don't know, but these two finals in Masters and I beat Nadal in the final, maybe it's something -- I don't know what's can happen in semi, quarterfinal against Nadal. Maybe I can losing, yeah? But in the final last day, last match, you want to give everything in this match, 100% what you can do. And really I lost 5 finals and 17 I won. That's was my 18th title.
Now it's really amazing, you know. It was feel -- really in final I play very well. But I need to come to the final, you know. (laughter.) It's not so easy.

Q. What's the difference for you playing Nadal and Federer?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Completely different games. Federer always have good serve, play fast. He didn't make so long rally. He just try to make winners, and you need always running with him. It's much more difficult.
Nadal always play long rally, a little bit more slow and you have always chance to control ball. You have always chance to play long line across, always fighting with him. That's was -- and he play -- yeah, that's was maybe I have more priority play against Nadal, winning, beat him.
Against Federer, if he very good feeling, have very good confidence, it's not so easy to beat him. If I have many chance like in Paris, Roland Garros, I play also good, but, you know, have always chance to win first, second or third set, but I didn't realize, because he was better after, you know, good concentration and did well job.
But really, I don't know if I play today against Federer what's can happen. (laughter.)
Really, it's a different situation, you know. I was really happy it was not Federer today. (laughter.)

Q. You seemed to attack Nadal's backhand a lot today, and he hit the slice a lot today. That was your plan? Do you think that's the best way to beat Nadal?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: It's not was attack, because I didn't try to make winners there. I was try make like topspin cross, short cross, and he need to get always, you know, many step -- try to do with footwork, you know, working and running and coming back. Because I know he can never do some long line winners in the backhand.
I know he play for sure cross. That's was I was standing there and I already prepare for the forehand short cross. I know if I do three times, four, five, he never try, you know, to do something different, you know.
And then if I have chance I try, you know, concentration long time, but I know for sure he running, he play back, and again on backhand, you know, cross.
It's good tactic today, many points I won with this tactic, and before I did also, play against him in other tournaments.
Okay, maybe I lost like in clay court many tournaments, like many matches against him, but I try the same way, try do the same way, and in clay court different situation, more slow like, you know, can slicing to the ball here. Hardcourt he need to run to the ball. That's was maybe for me more easy to beat him at hardcourt.

Q. When you retired against Soderling in the
US Open, you looked like the unhappiest man in the world, and suddenly here -- your press conference was sort of very downbeat. And here you are, a couple months later, you won Kuala Lumpur and now you've won this tournament, so what happened between that retirement and where you are today?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Miracle. What's happen? I don't know what's happen. (laughter.)
Just -- I really don't know in Kuala Lumpur, because he beat me 6-1, have already break, and should be winning second set, but something happen. I come back and the winning tiebreak again?
And then winning third set, and then, you know, after this match I feeling, yeah, maybe I can win Masters Cup in Shanghai, yeah. (laughter.)
But really, it's like -- I don't know. Every match is different, and really, coming here I have good tennis, but if you see also fighting semifinal and three sets I was in quarterfinal. You don't know what's can happen, you know, in the match and you can win in three sets or you can win. If I have chance, I try to realize this chance and win this tournament.

Q. You've been in the top 10 I think since like May 2005 except for a few weeks this year. Yet you kind of go below the radar in terms of attention and everything. Does that bother you, or you're happy to not be like the focus of articles, and, you know, a lot of fanfare? How do you feel on that?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: No, I'm just happy, you know. I want to finish top 10 in this year, just this thing, for me, it's important. Everything is not so important.
I don't -- I want to have more fans, so I don't want to have, I don't know, something. Okay, more money always good, you know. (laughter.)
But some think to be famous, really, I not so person who like to be like this. That's was maybe I don't feel, you know, and I see in the press and always famous top four guys, you know.
That's was good, you know. I'm always nobody expect I win tournament, you know. And then I have no, like, say, pression in this tournament. And I start. If I win, is good. If I lose, also it's okay. Nobody thinking I can win here or another week. Just, I play, and I do my job, and if I do good, it's good.

Q. Obviously you have had a great career so far, but after watching you defeat No. 3 and No. 2 player in the world, people might wonder why you haven't been ranked even higher and achieve more in Grand Slam. Your explanation?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I'm too old already. (laughter.)
Why? Because, you know, today was two-set match. Grand Slam, I need to play against Nadal one more set. I don't know if I can beat him in a third set and fourth and fifth.
It's difficult. You know, maybe if you change Grand Slam in three sets I can win some. (laughter.)
But, yeah, I beat No. 2, No. 3, but I didn't beat No. 1. Maybe that's a point, you know, not to beat the top guys. It's only this week I be good, but I need to be -- these guys play every week good, semis, finals, quarterfinals. Doesn't matter which tournament. Always have top four men play very well.
I did good job, you know, in three weeks here in Asia. Yeah, I would like have last three tournaments, if I do like good result like in Paris/Bercy also coming to semis or final, I feel, yes, I feel like I can play not only one week. I can play mostly every week and make good result.
That's was feeling, yes, I can be in top five. But in beginning like this year I was injured and starting, you know, be losing quarters, you know, many tournaments, semis, normal tournament. Never -- was have chance in quarterfinal Roland Garros, but I play not so good against Soderling.
I have no chance, and really, you know, in other Grand Slam I didn't make good result. I think it's mostly important what you do in the biggest tournament in a year.

Q. What were you thinking during the championship point as a final challenge? It seemed like you were afraid to look at the result. And the second question is most players just feel tired at end of season and just get injured, but you keep on in good form. How did you manage that?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: First question, I just see my wife. She say, It's out. I say, Okay, it's good. For sure it's been out.
Second, it's good for me if everybody injury at the end of the year, because I didn't play first three months and everybody play already. So many guys now injury, it's good. Maybe I have more chance, you know, coming to London. Maybe everybody retire in London. I can win London. (laughter.)
It's good for me. Everything good for me. That's was -- I don't say about -- maybe if you see now it's a little bit with calendar, one week later. That's was if Paris/Bercy one week later, and then, you know, tournaments is just London coming, end of November finishing. And really, you don't have so much time to prepare or just take rehabilitation and prepare for the next season.
Some guys tell it's too long. Some guys tell it's too short. Really, it's like depends how many tournament you play and how many matches you play.
Yes, for sure if I play like this week till final and then every week to the final, yes, I say I want to finish in three months. I don't want to play any more because I won everything. I'm already tired for this year. But, no, you can't win every week. That's was you have choice, play 30 tournaments in a year, and you can try to realize which tournaments you can play good or not so good, but you have always chance to make good result.

Q. Your serve is so good all the week, and it always around 200 just when you play key points, 40-30, 30-40, deuce. Is that your tactic, to save energy for the moment and make the opponents feel frustrated and shock?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: No, never have tactic with my serve. I don't know what's going to happen with my serve. Just, I serve, I was thinking, Okay, I do it now in this point, try and make first serve. And then I did make some aces. I say, Wow, it's wonder. I really make good serve.
And I'm for sure today against Nadal it's not so easy always make -- I try, you know, like very fast serve, but he returning and we start to make rally, and I think about, okay, why I need to serve hard? 200? Return doesn't matter. He stay behind 10 meters from baseline and returning back everything mostly.
And in beginning, feel like in first set, because he's fresh and he can do everything. But like, say, already in the second set, you start to be tired. And if you have this big serve, really, like end of the match, you can have this chance to win, realize these points, because players already losing concentration and movement and second set already different.
That's was, if good first serve in the second and the third set, then you have more chance. That's was -- it's like also tactic, where my serve is terrible. I don't know. I can have good serve; I can have bad serve. But my keys is only baseline and return. That's it.

Q. The IOC president presented you the trophy and he invited you to next Olympic Games after seeing your excellent performance here. What's your --
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Which Olympic Games?

Q. The next one, 2012. What's your --
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Wait. Wait. 2012. It's like -- I don't know if I can live to 2012. Really.

Q. My real question is...
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: If I can stand it in 2010, it's already good. You want to like tell me 2012.

Q. My real question is: What's your thought on the rest of your career, next year, maybe?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Wow. Yeah, always like press thinking about, yes, maybe, it's for sure. Once in my career winning Grand Slam. Yes, it's most important thing for every tennis player in the world. You know, always try. If not, maybe finishing in 20 titles in my career also, not so bad.
Yes, I will like finishing also next year in top 10. Maybe I want also next year to be top 10 and reach also London, year-end Masters Cup in London. I don't know if I can coming this year for sure. But if I come this year, for sure I want to come in next year.
It's no special dreams. It's like every week you have just play this tournament. You have not dream, but you thinking just want to do best result what you can do. If you win, it's good; not, bad luck, you go for the next tournament. That's was my opinion always step by step every week. Do some, you know, good result. I did here good result.
I don't know if I can do next week in Moscow, you know. I play already, you know, Wednesday next match against Safin, you know. And for sure everybody exciting. For sure it will be a big match. But I would say try enjoy every week. If I can do, I do. If not, okay. Next week.

Q. What do you think of Rafa's speed, the speed of his running? Do you think it's the same as it was before, couple years ago? Do you think he's slower, faster? Does he move around the court as fast as he used to?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: He is too slow, I think. He need to run much faster, you know, because he is too slow from backhand to forehand running. (laughter.)
Really, in beginning I play against him in Abu Dhabi exhibition, like first week in this year we play exhibition. I was surprising he was physically so good and pretty fast, like from last year, I mean. Now it's always depends how you feel, how you fresh, how you play in tournament like every day, because he play -- okay. Yesterday he didn't have so good match, but before play three sets, three-sets matches. Yeah, he fighting.
Also, you cannot be the same feeling so fresh every day and the same like speed for running, because your concentration is not only in the foot. It's also in your head. Because you see how the ball is flying and how you run to this ball. That's was also so much important concentration, you know. In the match, the concentration you running also good, because you see ball early and then you're running to this ball.
And Nadal, always, okay, you know, he's young. He can run maybe five more years the same.
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