Would you still say Kolya is a PMK (and who the best russian really is)? [Archive] - MensTennisForums.com

Would you still say Kolya is a PMK (and who the best russian really is)?

Rogiman
11-05-2006, 10:02 PM
Ever since Kolya cracked the top 10 (and maybe even earlier, anyway ever since he began to be recognized by tennis fans) the convention amongst many has always been that Davydenko is a PMK (poor men's Kafelnikov, for you), that is: a hard laborer, dull personality, with a game that reminds many of a ball-machine, with similar characteristics to Kafelnikov's game but not quite close to Kafel's quality.

Now, I don't know about Kafelnikov, but I know whenever I've had the chance to watch Kolya's game this year I enjoyed it, I find him far more aggressive than most other players, and his backhand is a lethal shot (also his forehand is very steady, and the serve really underrated).

I know jumping on the Kolya bandwagon is a popular thing to do after this week, but you have to admit he was rather impressive, dominating his opponents from the moment their serves were neutralized, and hitting winners off every 2nd ball.
So, can he really be appreciated as an excellent player in his own right, despite not winning Grand Slams like two of his fellow-russians?

Speaking of fellow-russians, another famous myth is that Safin - no matter what his current situation is - is by far the best russian player, and can beat them all handily whenever he decides to get serious (I thought he was pretty damn serious when Kolya beat him for the Kremlin-Cup title) - is there any truth to that myth?

Discuss...

ExcaliburII
11-05-2006, 10:14 PM
Safin is the best russian, Davydenko is a lie.

ReturnWinner
11-05-2006, 10:22 PM
davydenko is the best russian , some steps above safin.
Safin is the best russian, Davydenko is a lie.

atheneglaukopis
11-05-2006, 10:24 PM
Some days Safin is the best Russian. Some days Safin is the worst Russian. That's just how it goes. :)

MarieS
11-05-2006, 10:29 PM
well i guess kafelnikov is now poor man's davydenko? :shrug:
Safin>Davydenko. No question about it. You can't just go by one match.

ys
11-05-2006, 10:36 PM
When Kolya makes Slam finals, then we talk..

Rogiman
11-05-2006, 10:37 PM
well i guess kafelnikov is now poor man's davydenko? :shrug:
Safin>Davydenko. No question about it. You can't just go by one match.Oh, I don't even doubt it that Safin at the height of his powers was in a different league - and even if I did - 2 Slams and 5 TMS titles would claim otherwise.

Rogiman
11-05-2006, 10:41 PM
When Kolya makes Slam finals, then we talk..It's not like he's that far off, remember his SF match with Puerta at RG last year?
And how about his QF loss to Federer this year at AO? hypothetical, I know, but I think he would have kicked Kiefer's little butt had he made the SF.

My point is, him making or not a Slam final doesn't necessarily have something to do with being a better player, sometimes you just need better luck.

Deivid23
11-05-2006, 11:29 PM
He will be the poor man´s Korolev soon enough

shotgun
11-05-2006, 11:32 PM
He's currently in better form than Safin, no doubt. But let's not forget he's going through the best moment of his career, while Safin isn't.

Chloe le Bopper
11-05-2006, 11:40 PM
well i guess kafelnikov is now poor man's davydenko? :shrug:
Safin>Davydenko. No question about it. You can't just go by one match.

How about the last year and a half?

fightingducky
11-05-2006, 11:41 PM
Some days Safin is the best Russian. Some days Safin is the worst Russian. That's just how it goes. :)

absolutely agree with you.

Chloe le Bopper
11-05-2006, 11:43 PM
Because some people seem confused...

Now, I may be mistaken, but I reaaallly doubt that anybody is debating whether or not Safin's career is better than Davydenko's.

Likewise, there should be no debate as to who is currently the best Russian. But there is, which is utterly bizarre.

rmb6687
11-06-2006, 12:05 AM
How about the last year and a half?

um...he wasn't even playing for most of that time.

the point is, that right now, Davy is in better form and more consistent and higher ranked. He is the best russian right now.

In regards to Kafelnikov, i really can't say since he was before my time.

Broomie
11-06-2006, 12:15 AM
As of today (and the last months, not before, Marat did not play), Nikolay is the best russian player. I don't think Marat would disagree with that.
Nikolay is more consistent, in top form, reliable. There is not much to change there (some more luck, less federer in slams, and better preparation as he's sometimes exhausted because of too much play). Marat has been getting better, and hopefully things will keep better and better.
BUT because of their styles of play, Marat "appears" more aggressive (=better for a lot of people, even though it is not necessarily true). Some people just forget that Nikolay's results in slams are nothing to be ashamed of. He is really competitive in 3/4 of slams.
I can't really compare him to Kafelnikov, I have to admit I don't remember much from him, such a bad memory...

About the russians, I think a lot has to do with ego. Matches with people of your own country are different, "special".
Marat is like every one else, sometimes he wants to win but still loses. When Kolya beat him in Moscow, I'm pretty sure he really wanted to win. Like this whole year, he wanted to win more matches, but it takes more than willing and being focused. Things seem to be falling back into places for him, I just wish him a very good start to 2007. And hopefully Nikolay will keep up the good work as well. :cool:

Action Jackson
11-06-2006, 12:40 AM
I'd rather have Kafelnikov's Slam results than the PMK and Davydenko is always going to be one of those guys who is under appreciated irrespective of what he does. At the moment he is the best Russian player that isn't so hard to work out really.

This sums it up.

Q. But the crowd here responded more to Baghdatis. He's more emotional. He responds to them. You seem calmer and quieter.

NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, but I have questions why I play center court today? Can you tell me why I play today on center court?

Q. No. 5?

NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Because Baghdatis. No, not like me No. 5. I play against number guys, I can be on Court 1 or grandstand. Normally like Baghdatis more famous after finals of Australia Open, you know. Come to here and everybody want to see Baghdatis. I think tournament put us on center court. But normally not me. Not like I am No. 5.

Andre♥
11-06-2006, 12:54 AM
Btw it's funny how great Davydenko is on carpet and how awful he is on grass...

Of course Kafelnikov has 2 GS and Kollya hasn't but no way Kafelnikov could beat Federer on hardcourt or Nadal on clay to get those Grand Slams...

gulzhan
11-06-2006, 01:14 AM
Kolya is the best player of all the Russians at the moment, no argument. Ranking speaks for itself.

Marat is the leader of the Russian DC team, no argument too, all the players and the captain stress that.

And I think both Kolya and Marat know that and agree to that.

As to PMK, I did not see much of Kafelnikov too... I like Davydenko's tennis tough (more than Safin's :tape:)-- it's beautiful in my opinion...

Ernham
11-06-2006, 01:22 AM
Btw it's funny how great Davydenko is on carpet and how awful he is on grass...

Of course Kafelnikov has 2 GS and Kollya hasn't but no way Kafelnikov could beat Federer on hardcourt or Nadal on clay to get those Grand Slams...

It's the bounce. Davy has very "technically correct" strokes, which are generally most effective on hard/clay courts, not grass. Most good grass courters have modified shots that make them better on grass. Federer's backhand in general and the "snap"(AKA "ugly angle") version of his forehand are great examples. Also, one handed backhand is general favorable for "approach shot and volley" when attacking the net, because the grip change is less severe.

rmb6687
11-06-2006, 05:39 PM
It's the bounce. Davy has very "technically correct" strokes, which are generally most effective on hard/clay courts, not grass. Most good grass courters have modified shots that make them better on grass. Federer's backhand in general and the "snap"(AKA "ugly angle") version of his forehand are great examples. Also, one handed backhand is general favorable for "approach shot and volley" when attacking the net, because the grip change is less severe.

:) learn something new everyday.

TheBoiledEgg
11-06-2006, 07:57 PM
Btw it's funny how great Davydenko is on carpet and how awful he is on grass...

Of course Kafelnikov has 2 GS and Kollya hasn't but no way Kafelnikov could beat Federer on hardcourt or Nadal on clay to get those Grand Slams...

thats not the issue......... I could say
Nadal couldnt have won RG had Guga been around or Borg could he ??

grass court tennis is completely diff (a bit like clay)........ either you are comfortable with your footing or you're not.
if not, you go down pretty easily, its got nothing to with serves etc.

look at Ljubicic, he's got a big serve but he's hopeless on grass.

scarecrows
11-06-2006, 08:12 PM
I dont know if you can judge by one tournament, but this week Davydenko was phenomenal

man, he was serving at 210-215 all the time and his rhythm was always too fast for his opponents

I think TMC will show if he's really a top class player or just a player that took advantage of a lack of rivalry in a single tournament

stebs
11-06-2006, 09:16 PM
Now, I don't know about Kafelnikov, but I know whenever I've had the chance to watch Kolya's game this year I enjoyed it, I find him far more aggressive than most other players, and his backhand is a lethal shot (also his forehand is very steady, and the serve really underrated).
I have been a Kolya fan pretty much since I saw his match against Roger in the AO this year. Federer played clutch in that match but overall Kolya was probably the better player for 3 of the 4 sets. People think because he doesn't volley well or hit huge he is defensive but he moves his opponents around before hitting a winner. He camps on the baseline and can take the ball at almost any height to avoid getting on the back foot. He is an excellent player. I am happy that more people can jump on the bandwagon and appreciate his solid and strong game.

I know jumping on the Kolya bandwagon is a popular thing to do after this week, but you have to admit he was rather impressive, dominating his opponents from the moment their serves were neutralized, and hitting winners off every 2nd ball.
Stats may tell lies at times but one thing which stats prove almost beyond doubt is that this year Davydenko has been the best returner in the world. He is #2 behind Roger in returning 1st serve, #2 in converting BP's, #1 in returning 2nd serve and #1 in return games won. It is almost impossible to argue with that. Added to a serve which isn't deadly but isn't a weakness and has a high % and that makes him a great player and a threat to anyone. He made his real technical improvement last year. This year he has just heightened the level of his game and has been able to raise it at the right time. The past week is the best I've ever seen him play outside of a clay court.

Speaking of fellow-russians, another famous myth is that Safin - no matter what his current situation is - is by far the best russian player, and can beat them all handily whenever he decides to get serious (I thought he was pretty damn serious when Kolya beat him for the Kremlin-Cup title) - is there any truth to that myth?

This BS has been going around for a long time. I like Safin as much as the next guy, he is one of the most likeable players in the world of tennis. However, people always say that if he plays his best he is the best in the world, the same can be said about a bunch of guys. Sure, Safin is more talented than most but he is one of the most over-rated players I have ever witnessed playing tennis. His best is rare to see and it isn't just mental problems, sometimes he has his head straight, plays well and loses. Safin fans can't seem to accept this and say "He wasn't playing like he CAN play." This is true but almost all players only play at their 100% optimum level on very rare occasions.

Still, Safin is undoubtedly a better player than Kolya when it come down to it. As already stated, the stats don't lie on that count. One AMS is a good accomplishment but 2 slams and 5 AMS is another kettle of fish.

World Beater
11-06-2006, 09:32 PM
this thread is a real sucker for the safinettes.

DrJules
11-06-2006, 09:33 PM
Stats may tell lies at times but one thing which stats prove almost beyond doubt is that this year Davydenko has been the best returner in the world. He is #2 behind Roger in returning 1st serve, #2 in converting BP's, #1 in returning 2nd serve and #1 in return games won. It is almost impossible to argue with that. Added to a serve which isn't deadly but isn't a weakness and has a high % and that makes him a great player and a threat to anyone. He made his real technical improvement last year. This year he has just heightened the level of his game and has been able to raise it at the right time. The past week is the best I've ever seen him play outside of a clay court.

If he was the best returner of serve in the game I would expect him to have beaten Roddick. Admittedly they have not played for a long time. On Sky Chris Bailey felt Federer was much better, but Greg Rusedski felt Davydenko was better. Maybe the master cup will help answer. Roddick and Ljubicic provide 2 very good servers. I feel the 1st serve returns are the best indicator of a players returning ability.

Has he ever played this well on a clay court. He certainly has never been this dominant on a clay court and cannot remember a time when he was this destructive on clay court.

DrJules
11-06-2006, 09:36 PM
Still, Safin is undoubtedly a better player than Kolya when it come down to it. As already stated, the stats don't lie on that count. One AMS is a good accomplishment but 2 slams and 5 AMS is another kettle of fish.

Hard to tell if Safin is still capable of being the better player. Is Safin's best in the past.

Katastrophe
11-06-2006, 10:07 PM
Hard to tell if Safin is still capable of being the better player. Is Safin's best in the past.

That's the million dollar question a lot of people would like answered. I hope it's not the case, not only because he's a great player, but because I think he is capable of generating a lot of interest in a sport that doesn't always get the respect it deserves.

Action Jackson
11-07-2006, 04:37 AM
I dont know if you can judge by one tournament, but this week Davydenko was phenomenal

man, he was serving at 210-215 all the time and his rhythm was always too fast for his opponents

I think TMC will show if he's really a top class player or just a player that took advantage of a lack of rivalry in a single tournament

Well it was an excellent week for him, but there are specific ways to play Davydenko. He does struggle when the rhythm is mixed and Ljubicic and Nalle have showed how to play the guy and it's short slices to his backhand to get him out of court and then take advantage from there.

He has done well, but he hasn't done well enough or often enough against the best players in the world.

Corswandt
11-07-2006, 01:48 PM
he hasn't done well enough or often enough against the best players in the world.

I believe his win over Robredo on the Bercy semis was his only victory over a top ten player on this entire season so far.

Fumus
11-07-2006, 04:43 PM
If he was the best returner of serve in the game I would expect him to have beaten Roddick. Admittedly they have not played for a long time. On Sky Chris Bailey felt Federer was much better, but Greg Rusedski felt Davydenko was better. Maybe the master cup will help answer. Roddick and Ljubicic provide 2 very good servers. I feel the 1st serve returns are the best indicator of a players returning ability.

Has he ever played this well on a clay court. He certainly has never been this dominant on a clay court and cannot remember a time when he was this destructive on clay court.

Ubb...Davydenko doesn't matchup with Roddick for reasons other than just his serve. If you ever watched any of there previous encounters you would have seen that. Davydenko doesn't fair well against the big serve and forehander type of guys...basically the "Big game" American style. Collectively against Roddick, Blake, and Ginepri; Davydenko is 1 and 9. That includes a win by Roddick in 03' on clay. ouch...:o It's not the serve return that is causing Davydenko to lose to these guys.

Federer's first serve return is a block, seldom even on a second serve will Federer risk hitting winners or super aggresive shots. This is because Federer is the most complete player the game have ever seen, therefore he can win the point in other ways besides smacking RoS winners. This discussion has been had before but, I will say that it is much easier to block a serve back putting the point on neutral terms, than it is to take it on the rise and hit an offensive shot. Davydenko returns more like Agassi did at times because he needs to play an offensive type of return to put him ahead in a point whereas Federer does not because he knows he can consistantly play 3 or 4 shots on defense and then transistion to offense.

It's a difference in games, Federer gets aced less and puts more in play, Davydenko hits more aggressive returns and return winners...thus making more errors. As far as being a better returner goes that's advantage Davydenko because consistantly returning in an attacking style is harder to do, and last week was the best agressive returning performance I have seen since Andre Agassi was in form.

As far losing to the American's go it's because Davydenko's game isn't as complete as Fed's and he can't transition to offense like Federer can due to Davydenko's lack of fire power of the ground.

Hard to tell if Safin is still capable of being the better player. Is Safin's best in the past.

Is Safin capable?! :mad: Yes, of course he is still capable, Safin is still one the most talented if not the most talented guy in the game. Capability has never been Safin's problem, execution and the consistancy of performance are his problems. Sort of the opposite of Davydenko, actually.

R.Federer
11-07-2006, 04:58 PM
Disconnected from this thread, but it's about Kolya thought it was a nice quote:


"Winning here, coming to Shanghai, and then I get married," Davydenko said. "And then the Davis Cup final. I think it's too much for one month. Celebration here, celebration marriage, and then celebration Davis Cup if we win. Too much drinking is also not what I need."

DrJules
11-07-2006, 10:27 PM
Federer's first serve return is a block, seldom even on a second serve will Federer risk hitting winners or super aggresive shots. This is because Federer is the most complete player the game have ever seen, therefore he can win the point in other ways besides smacking RoS winners. This discussion has been had before but, I will say that it is much easier to block a serve back putting the point on neutral terms, than it is to take it on the rise and hit an offensive shot. Davydenko returns more like Agassi did at times because he needs to play an offensive type of return to put him ahead in a point whereas Federer does not because he knows he can consistantly play 3 or 4 shots on defense and then transistion to offense.

It's a difference in games, Federer gets aced less and puts more in play, Davydenko hits more aggressive returns and return winners...thus making more errors. As far as being a better returner goes that's advantage Davydenko because consistantly returning in an attacking style is harder to do, and last week was the best agressive returning performance I have seen since Andre Agassi was in form.

As far losing to the American's go it's because Davydenko's game isn't as complete as Fed's and he can't transition to offense like Federer can due to Davydenko's lack of fire power of the ground.

Against the biggest serves in tennis blocking the return is about the only approach that consistently will return a big serve. Hewitt returned the Sampras serve better than Agassi because he was less ambitious in his return. Similarly, Federer is the most successful returner of big serves because he understands the limitations of what you can do with a return in the limited time you have to return the fast serve. It is impossible to return with consistency if you play the way that Davydenko trys to return the serve. Federer, Hewitt and Murray have had success against Roddick because they are good at blocking serves which is a rather forgotten art these days among tennis returns.


Is Safin capable?! :mad: Yes, of course he is still capable, Safin is still one the most talented if not the most talented guy in the game. Capability has never been Safin's problem, execution and the consistancy of performance are his problems. Sort of the opposite of Davydenko, actually.

I do question how fully that Safin has physically recovered. I am not sure that he still moves as well as he did before the knee problems.

DrJules
11-07-2006, 10:40 PM
Well it was an excellent week for him, but there are specific ways to play Davydenko. He does struggle when the rhythm is mixed and Ljubicic and Nalle have showed how to play the guy and it's short slices to his backhand to get him out of court and then take advantage from there.

He has done well, but he hasn't done well enough or often enough against the best players in the world.

Sounds the best tactic.

Disrupt the way a metronome plays.

Fumus
11-08-2006, 01:54 AM
Against the biggest serves in tennis blocking the return is about the only approach that consistently will return a big serve. Hewitt returned the Sampras serve better than Agassi because he was less ambitious in his return. Similarly, Federer is the most successful returner of big serves because he understands the limitations of what you can do with a return in the limited time you have to return the fast serve. It is impossible to return with consistency if you play the way that Davydenko trys to return the serve. Federer, Hewitt and Murray have had success against Roddick because they are good at blocking serves which is a rather forgotten art these days among tennis returns.



I do question how fully that Safin has physically recovered. I am not sure that he still moves as well as he did before the knee problems.

Yes, but the better return is the one that puts you ahead in the point. If you have the backcourt firepower of Federer it doesn't matter, he doesn't have to have a good return. Murray is similar to Federer in this aspect. Roddick has figured out what he has to do to beat Hewitt from the back of court, he knows he beat Lleyton from the back where he doesn't have that option with Andy and Roge. I do agree the block/chip is under utilized these days, it's used about as often as the slice forehand and serve/volley. However if you notice all the most complete players are extremly proficient in these such touch shots.

Safin, his problems are still upstairs...he lost Monfils in Cincy, Robredo in Toronto, Clement in Washington...that wasn't his knee's fault. :)

Action Jackson
11-08-2006, 01:58 AM
Sounds the best tactic.

Disrupt the way a metronome plays.

I watched the PMK for quite a long time now and I remembered when he was more defensive, but now he is a very clean hitter and improved so much it started at the AO in 2005 in reality.

I shook my head and thought what happy juice was he drinking at the time, but he carried it on from there. No matter how much he has improved, there are certain things that are the same.

RickDaStick
11-08-2006, 02:01 AM
Davydenko is a poor man's Tuskar

Action Jackson
09-25-2007, 07:51 AM
Davydenko is a poor man's Tuskar

Hahahaha.

ilovemarat
09-25-2007, 10:23 AM
Safin has definitely more interesting personality and charisma... Davydenko is just a robot - so dull and yet so arrogant. Despite beating Safin in Kremlin Cup, Safin is still russian no. 1 according to fans. :p

alfonsojose
09-25-2007, 12:39 PM
Safin is overhyped

rocketassist
09-25-2007, 01:48 PM
Safin WAS the best Russian, when he had a forehand, but now he's not even third best.