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{Annie} 05-31-2006 02:08 PM

Interviews and Articles
 
French Open sixth seed Nikolay Davydenko answered your questions on the eve of second Grand Slam tournament of the year.

Rafael Nadal, Andre Agassi, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski will all contest the Stella Artois tournament between 12-18 June at the Queen's Club in London - and Davydenko will be looking to beat them all.

Davydenko moved up to the world's top five with some stunning performances over the past 12 months. He knocked Tim Henman out of last year's Australian Open and then reached the semi-finals of the French Open, narrowly losing to eventual finalist Mariano Puerta.

He will be hoping to go one better in Paris this time and then turn his attentions to the grass at the Stella Artois Championships and Wimbledon.


Nikolay Davydenko Q&A

What is your favourite tournament?
Jon Humberstone, England

It depends. I like all tournaments I enter. Any tournament is good if the organisation is good.
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In recent years retrievers like Lleyton Hewitt and Rainer Schuettler have struggled to keep in the top 10. How do you plan to avoid the falls these players have suffered?
Myles Harding, England

I think I need to be physically fit for every tournament and for the preparation to be good for the Grand Slam tournaments. I played four weeks in a row and now five or six weeks, which is good.
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You seem to be most at ease on hard courts. Do you have a favourite surface to play on?
Prateek Goorha, Australia

I like surfaces that are not so fast. I like clay courts and hard courts like in Toronto and Cincinnati. I don't like the US Open so much.
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In your opinion is Federer the greatest in history and can he beat Nadal if they meet in French Open?
DB, Brazil

Roger is the best player ever. On every surface he is good. His play everywhere perfect. He's the number one. I don't think he can beat Nadal here though. It's not so fast - it's not like in Rome. If Nadal is physically good it's tough to beat him.
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Which is more important for you: the Grand Slams or the Davis Cup?
Nick Hilton, UK

Grand Slams!
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What are your hopes for the grass season especially Wimbledon?
Ilyaas, England (Noemi, this is our Ily!!! SAFINNO1!!!! :lol: )

Before, I didn't know how I'd play on grass but this year I've tried to prepare and play in grass tournaments like Queen's to try and prepare for Wimbledon. I've been running a lot on grass to get a feeling for what it will be like to play on. I think that's important.
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What was it like playing in the 2006 Masters Cup and finally beating Andre Agassi?
Mark Witchell, UK

For me it was surprising! I played very well, my confidence was good and I was happy to also beat Gaudio and Puerta.
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Potentially you have two weeks at Roland Garros, then a week at Queen's, then Wimbledon. Physically, are you up for the challenge?
Mark Witchell, UK

I try to be ready for every tournament. That means being physically ready, mentally ready and ready to play good tennis.
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Your style reminds me of Yevgeni Kafelnikov, did you watch him play growing up?
Haley, USA

I didn't watch him much because he wasn't on Russian television very much. I did see him in the Davis Cup and some Grand Slams but when he was playing well I was already playing.
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What do you like to do in your free time during Wimbledon and generally?
Camilla, UK

I don't have free time! I just have tournaments to play in all the time. Before Wimbledon it's the clay court season. Maybe after that I'll have one or two weeks off. I'll try to, although there is also preparation for other tournaments to be done. Maybe I'll go fishing if I get time. I like to fish in places around Europe - like Germany.

Mara_M 05-31-2006 05:22 PM

Re: Interviews and Articles
 
lol :lol:!i just remember when they answered sandra's question at tv:p!tahnks for teh interview annichka!

alelysafina 05-31-2006 07:36 PM

Re: Interviews and Articles
 
He had to bring up fishing :lol: :lol:

Thanks annie :)

{Annie} 09-07-2006 09:31 AM

Re: Interviews and Articles
 
An interview with: NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You play almost every single week. How do you do that?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Okay, how I do? I can prepare before preparation before big tournament. Yeah, for me, important to play some small tournament like New Haven, or Sydney or something like in Australia before Grand Slam. If I play good there, I come into. Like, it's happening.
Like this year I play Sydney semifinal. Come into Australian Open, play quarters. That's was. Play Roland Garros. Win tournament before Roland Garros, play good Roland Garros. It was winning New Haven, feeling good here, it was playing good here.
Because, like, I think confidence for winning tournament or play good. You come in for the next tournament, you have the same ball, same surface that was. And, okay, it was important to win first round in Grand Slam. That's where you play better and better.

Q. The momentum is important from week to week for you. But at the same time, do you ever feel, I need a rest, I have to stop and let the body get fresh?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Sometimes, but...

Q. Not often?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Sometimes take rest if I play many matches, you know. How you say, many matches, if I win tournament or like in the next I come in to semis or finals. But I don't make so much winners like Federer, yeah? Like, he come into tournament, win tournament. And then next week, that's when he take off, like Nadal.
I play quarters, play semis. It's not enough, I would say. It's only three, four matches in a week. That's was come in for the next week, also I have time, I get rest few days, play next tournament.

Q. It's not like you play short points. Your points are long.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, depends where you play. Depends which surface. Depends which balls. Everything is different.
Yeah, I try to play my game, and my game is longer, yeah.

Q. You have a title in New Haven, but in Toronto and Cincinnati, you didn't play so well. Why?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Why? It's only one reason like why I didn't play. After, like, say change from hard court to clay court, also I losing three weeks in a row first round coming from a hard court and prepare for the clay court. I need I think some weeks, like two weeks should be was enough.
Like after winning Sopot on clay, coming to Toronto, losing first round. And Cincinnati was also first round. It was two weeks practicing of hard court and come in already to New Haven feeling better and better.
Moving. Movement very important of hard court. Because from slicing of clay, and good to run of hard, is completely different.
And change games. Change everything was important also.

Q. So are you concerned about the change of surface for the Davis Cup going on to the clay? That clay is going to be pretty thick and indoors and all that.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, we get a clay court and indoor. That was for us important because against Americans, we need to play of clay. Because Blake and Roddick should be like is for sure of hard court get play better because faster, and Roddick get good serve.
For Blake, I think for us, everybody how you say Safin, me, play good of clay court. That was should be different game.
But for us, also difficult changing from hard court to clay.

Q. Are you surprised how easy it was this morning?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: How I say surprising? It was not surprising because I was just because every point was difficult, really. Because we play, he can win also many games because was breakpoints. He get chance also to win game. It was try to have concentration every point. That's was all time was close. It was 6 Love. It, like, was game.

Q. What's your evaluation of Murray as a player?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I was surprising. Normally, I think I should be play faster. I think he was go some big serve and coming to the net. That's was he still from baseline play really slow. And running from baseline of hard court it's was I was surprising because hard court I think make some winners or something, play faster. He just play some try to make long rally. For me, was okay. For me, was great.

Q. December of 1995, one of the great moments in U.S. Davis Cup history. Pete Sampras on clay.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Uh hmm.

Q. Beating the Russian Davis Cup team. Where were you when that Davis Cup tie was held? Did you watch on TV?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: No. '95, I don't remember. For me, was I don't care about Davis Cup Russian.

Q. Is there in Russia with Russian tennis fans a feeling that this is the moment for revenge for that particular time?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Is different time. I would say was Sampras, was Agassi. It was great player. No. 1 in the world, No. 2. It was completely different. Coming to Russia, okay, we get doesn't matter which surface, because Agassi win like Roland Garros of clay. It's you never know what's happen, you know.
Okay, for us also tough now on clay to play at home, because we play at home. That's was maybe for us easy to play in America because you don't think about you need to win; you just play like easy. Like, for sure, like team we get already. Safin, me, any team should be we play matches there.
Like, yeah how you say? you never know what's happen before matches, yeah? That's was I cannot tell you now ahead of time.

Q. Because of the rain and the schedule here at the Open, we're in a situation where you might play four matches in five days. What's your thinking on that? Do you think it's something that should be changed? Like the other Slams have a day off between the semis and the final.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: You know, I never come to the semis or the final. That's was why I don't care about changing. I play now normal. Like I play, I get day off. I play, say like play Wednesday, and then I play Friday matches. So always I have one day off normally. Today was only finish set. Should be I play tomorrow match, yeah?
It's okay. It's tough. Guys play, Safin and Haas, yeah, play all match today and should be tomorrow already play match. Recovery is not so great.
But how you say? like it's weather, you know. What we can change here in a Grand Slam? Because we get two weeks, and still rules. You play, you have one day off. Is still rain. You need to play every day. That was we can't do anything.

Q. Which is your best shot, here (pointing to head), here (pointing to heart)?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I think it's more important movement in the court. I think if you move good in the court, running good. And good control from the baseline I think is best what I get now.

Q. There is a large number, a high number of Russian people living in this city. Do you feel their presence when you come to the US Open?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I never see so much Russian here at US Open. I think Russian don't care about US Open in Brooklyn (smiling).

Q. Andy Murray was just in here. He's coming off of a very successful hard court season. Yet in his press conference, just having gone out 6 0 to you in the final set, he said he played, he thought, one of his best matches in the season, and that the reason you took him was you were just simply too good. He had no regrets with the way he played. Again, he said you were simply too good. Just assess the way that you feel you are playing right now having made it to the quarterfinals.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yesterday was different match. Yesterday we play both good, yeah? Today was completely different. I think we was both nervous because from beginning match he makes start from double faults. Because he never did before, yeah?
We play more slowly today. Not like some winners. He try to keep ball back. I try something to do. But this was different. It was because for me important to win last set. For him, coming like back, he need to win two sets. That's why today was tough.
But I try to play good. I try to do no mistake in the court. That's was fight every ball. Concentration, every ball.
But say it was good match, but not good enough, I would say. I think yesterday was better.

Q. What do you think he needs to do to improve his game?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: For who?

Q. Murray. What does Murray need to do?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I don't know. I am not coaching for Murray. That's why he get Gilbert. Gilbert need to improve him for the next season.

Q. Last year was the first year you made the Tennis Masters Cup. Can you talk about how special it was to actually make it and to be there for the first time, what you felt.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: You know, it's like in your career, like you feeling you reach Masters in Shanghai. It doesn't matter where. It's like last tournament of year. You come for top eight players, to best play in the world. You come in there. It's something different. You feeling you are good player with this moment.

Q. You feel like you really arrive, or made it?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, yeah, make it for all season, for all years. End of the year, you coming to Masters, it's very good.

Q. In previous round you beat the Polish guy Lukasz Kubot. What can you say about his potential, his weak points.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: How what I can say? I can't explain anybody like players. Just say he was reach third round in US Open. It's good for him, because he good. He make good points. He could become top, top hundred player. It's good for him.
I cannot tell like now. Because I see him in Sopot, he losing first round. What I can say? He need to play good, improve every week to play good. Then I can say he was good player.

Q. Do you have the game, do you think, at this point and the maturity to see yourself going to the finals and maybe even taking this tournament?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: You know, I don't want to go to the final. I need to prepare to quarters. I don't know who's coming, Safin or Haas. Because Safin, I lose already in hard court two times, but three sets. Haas, I beat, but in clay court. That was different game. Different match should be tomorrow.
Both guy play faster. It should be completely different. Both guy, good serve. I think it should be already tough to returning service. You never know.

Q. Are you as confident as you've ever been?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Confidence is good for me. I feeling okay.

Saumon 09-08-2006 08:10 PM

Re: Interviews and Articles
 
An interview with: NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How meaningful is this victory? You were down two sets and you came back and fought so very, very hard. How meaningful is this victory to you?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I don't think about anything. I think I can lose in three sets. Because Haas play well, great serve, I have not a chance to break him before. That was 6 4, 7 6. He just service, easy, you know, was for me. And every time in the third set was tough for my serve. I play so many from baseline. I try to fight. Come back. That's was I get all the time pression.
Then was only one break. That's it. I win in third set. I was surprising myself because he didn't make first serve, or only one return, and then that's it. He make from second serve, and I returning, I winning from baseline these points. Winning game. Then winning set.
And then is the same was in the fourth set.
But, you know, it's how you say? maybe it's a lucky day, because I, beginning from first and second set, play not so good. Like against Murray, I play better. That's was maybe 'cause weather was different. Was sun. Was balls fast. Spring higher.
Was a little bit tough for me today because Haas yesterday play of center court also. For him, was already five sets he play against Safin and was feeling good center court. That was for him, I think, should be kind of win in three sets. That was surprising.

Q. He called you a ball machine. What do you call Tommy? How would you describe his game?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: You know, I didn't call nobody, you know, for the players. Sometimes guys surprising me, and if I play against this guy, you know, if some I know this player because I play against him before. Like he was playing very great from baseline. Because normally, like how I play from baseline, I try to play well. That was my important thing in the game, just hitting balls and good control, and do no mistake.
Haas play very well from forehand, and it was tough for me first to assess slice for him. I did so many mistake. That's why he won in break and he won games.
But then play better and better from my side.
But I don't know how say. Haas, five sets, killer, huh? For guys he play before. He beat Safin 7 6 in the fifth. That was I thinking about now five sets against me. He can, you know, try to come back, already at 5 2. But it was lucky, I think, by 5 4 I win my serve.

Q. Did you talk to Marat before the match at all about Tommy?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: No, no.

Q. Do you guys talk in general? Do the Russians kind of hang around?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: In Davis Cup.

Q. What?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: In Davis Cup.

Q. In Davis Cup?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah. If we practicing together. It goes like hitting five minutes, go drinking, you know, water (smiling).

Q. This is an incredible accomplishment for you, but to the American public, we don't know that much about Nikolay Davydenko.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Is good for me (smiling).

Q. What are the special things about you as a man that have led to this accomplishment and made him special?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I think it's important how you say? Russian, is tough to say. Only one thing, if I say like I living in America, or I have residence America, maybe can be, should be completely different, you know. But I don't live, not yet. That's was still Russian, yeah, that's why for American is not important Russian players.
Because Sharapova say, she's Russian, but, yeah, she live in America; she's famous in America, because she was young, she's coming here in America. Every time is talking about she's American, yeah? Passport, just passport Russian, but she's American already.
That's was like I would say for US Open. It's important I think American player most. Just I see on TV everything was because like Roddick, Blake. I think it's important for the men's was here.
I didn't see so much Federer on TV. You know, he played of grandstand. He is No. 1. He is the favorite here. He won US Open. But is not so much famous here also. That's was from my side, I am go zero. That's was okay. Maybe I little bit like more in Europe more famous because I play good there.
Yeah, if I keep good result in America, if I play more tournaments, Miami, Indian Wells, playing better and better, maybe I should be famous already in America. Like for me, last week, New Haven, winning, already coming to US Open semis. I think, in New York, I am already famous.

Q. You make a good point. Still, my question, to reach this far into the tournament is extraordinary. What are the qualities that you have that have brought you here that make you special as a person?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Uhm, I don't know how I say. Maybe I need to win Grand Slam. That's was to be famous most.
Because Safin was No. 1. He won Grand Slam. He won US Open. He won Australia Open. That was coming from famous. I don't so like who care about, you know, Davydenko. Doesn't matter top 10. But he didn't win Grand Slam. I was not like No. 1, you know. Is not like I don't think about, like, some management make promotion and make something famous guy, because I don't think is so perfect. You need to do something in the tour. You need to win tournament, or you need to be No. 1 to be famous. Doesn't matter where.

Q. How does this performance rate in your career?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: You know, now, like I would say was important to me still top 10 player in this year, yeah? Because I was finish 5 last year. Was great. I make semifinal.
Already, I finish already top 10 in this year. That's was maybe I can reach to the Masters in Shanghai. It's also important for the second year.

Q. You are an extremely consistent player, especially ground strokes and high pressure situations. How did you develop that skill? Is that something you always had from childhood, that focus, or is that something you had to really learn as you were maturing as a player?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Uhm, I think it's was all time I was young, I was playing everything, fighting, you know, play from baseline, try to do something. But I was skinny. I still I think skinny, you know.
But already I am moving better. Like moving in the court is important. Like I running good. Good control from baseline. It's from my side, it's very important. Not to be tired. Not to get some cramping in the five sets. It's I was surprising. I was play three hours, and I was feeling okay.

Q. Yesterday against Andy Murray you showed such zippiness, aliveness, really good placement of shots. Today we didn't see quite that same kind of figure. What was it about Tommy Haas that curtailed that?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Uhm, you ask about match, different match about Murray and Haas?
Maybe Murray play for me, it was better because he hitting faster and I was playing faster back. Haas was I think it was different weather. Because was sun and ball was little bit faster and higher, spring higher from hard court and center court. That's was he make a little bit more topspin, Haas, and was tough to control this ball from baseline. Very good slice from backhand, was very fast. That's why I do so many mistake. I was surprising myself from way I can't first two sets, I can't do anything. I was so many mistake. Can't do anything for control.
But then it's was maybe I lose so much power in first two sets, because I try to concentration more and more. Like do some mistake, and concentration more, because why I did? That's was but against Murray, I play good, you know. Like from baseline, I feeling more better.

Q. Nikolay, many American fans may not know your game. You have been remarkable in the Grand Slams this year. You've been to two quarterfinals in Australia. You took a set from Roger. You took him to two tiebreaks in the third and fourth sets, played him very, very tough. How will that help you if the very likely possibility will occur that you will play him next? How will you use that to help you in your strength, in your mind?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: You know, it's like everybody ask, How you can play against Federer. Like, physically, why Nadal beat Federer. I think because he fighting every point. He running every point. Because Federer try to make winners, and Nadal play back. That's why he running, try to good control and still, you know, in position.
That's why I play in Australia against Federer. It was tough match, yeah? But I lose, yeah, I lose in the third and fourth sets tiebreaks. I have so many set points. I think is, you know, every year you get in the mind something thinking about, Why I losing, you know. Maybe is in the future you already better and better.
Maybe if you have set point, you do something different. You learn something. Try to make winners. You just keep it's like, we talk about maybe coaching, you know, because coach see every match, yeah, how you play. He just say to you for the next match, that's was I don't know, against Federer. It's depend how you feeling already. If I come in semifinal and play against Federer, if I play if I feeling well, you know, if I have great feelings backhand, forehand, running good, yeah, just I think should be in the mind.
You need to think you can beat him. Not like he's No. 1, he's, yeah, that's was important only in head.

Q. As far as your mind and your mindset, I mean, there's got to be a feeling, you've been to a Grand Slam semifinal, two Grand Slam quarterfinals, and now to a semifinal here. Is there a point at which you say to yourself, Yes, I do belong here, I do belong playing the Roger Federers, the Nadals, the top players of the world? Yes, this is proper for me to be here?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: You know, how you say, I didn't play so well of hard court. Now I prove I play better and better. I reach semifinal US Open of hard court. That's, for me already something special. Because Rebound Ace, different surface. Roland Garros, clay court. Here, hard court, American hard court is different, yeah? Completely different. That's was I did something special level already for me. That's was I played well already at the US Open. That's what's in my mind already. I can play good in hard court. That was maybe in the futures. I feeling already better and better. I play on Rebound Ace good, I play on clay court and I play on hard court. Only one I'm thinking grass court (smiling). Just I need to, you know.
But my coach say, How I play now on hard court here in America should be the same you need to play in Wimbledon. That's was. Because is changing games. Is really change. Clay and hard, different game. That was for me important. Faster change to surface, and play well.

Q. Despite what happens in the next match, can you say already that you're a different player right now than you were coming into the US Open, in terms of confidence, your faith in your ability?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I am different player for the hard court, I would say. I feeling I can I play very good of hard court already.

Q. Who was in the box next to your brother?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: My girlfriend.

Q. Girlfriend?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah.

Q. Curious about the Russians doing so incredibly well in tennis. The women, of course, have done incredibly, incredibly well. The men are doing better and better. What's the development of tennis like in Russia for the men and women? Is it different? Is it similar? Give me some idea, your own opinion.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: You know, Russian how you say? Russian tennis completely different for us because we have different for us. Just meet only in Grand Slam. We have not so much tournament. I think, okay, it's Miami and Indian Wells also together. But we have different tournaments. We have different organization, yeah? Complete different tennis. That's was woman like WTA organization make for, you know we don't know. We don't know anything about women tennis. We meet here. We know we are friends like, you know, from Russian girls. Just we spoke together.
But not like something special.

Q. What's the main difference between players that went to the semifinal one year ago to Roland Garros and the one who's gonna be playing here the next days, mentally? You feel you're going to be much more confident, not that nervous? What's the main difference between the players?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Semifinal, yeah. You know, how you guys say? Like if Federer, say, reach semifinal, he think about, I need to win US Open, because he's No. 1, he won already here.
For me, I reach my best result I make now here in semifinal, yeah? Just I need to come to the court, get fun, you know? Like not be nervous for the semis. Maybe also, you know, thinking about, I can play good, I can also win this match. That's was maybe the futures important. Because not like, Just get fun coming, you know. Losing three sets and then come back, you have already semifinal is enough for me, yeah?
But also I try keep play better and better. I prove myself I try well. That's we'll see what's happen on Saturday.

Q. Where are you based now? Where are you training?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I train in Germany still, by my brother because he live there. It was for me easy coming from Europe because I play so many tournament in Europe. Coming there for a few days, just practice there.

Q. Have you considered going back to Russia to train there at all?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Never. Just we get Davis Cup and tournaments. That's it.

Q. Why? Why not train in Russia?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Because we have, hmm how you say? I don't say like bad about Russia. But it's not like something special if you come to Russia and you have you can practicing there. You have not so perfect for the players. That's was for me easy. It's flying far away, because three hours to Europe is already tough. That's was in Germany, like in Europe, like doesn't matter.
So many players Russian practice in Spain. That's was easy to fly somewhere in Europe because so many tournaments then in Europe. Is easy.

Q. How did you turn this match around today? You looked like you were beat after the second set.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I don't know. It was like this (snapping).
I was I can't tell you how. Just was, you know, same position. Was everything played the same. Just was maybe lucky one breakpoint. Like this I win the third set (snapping). The same was in the fourth. And again, again.

Q. Just talk quickly about Davis Cup a little bit. You're in America and you're making us afraid now.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, good (smiling). Good for us.

Q. Are you thinking about that at all? What's your impression?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Only one thing I can tell. We play of clay court. It's completely different tennis (laughing). That's was we both play not I think everybody come to clay from hard should be not so great tennis, you know. From US Open, come of clay. That's why we'll see what's happen in Moscow (smiling).

FastScripts by ASAP Sports...

alelysafina 09-08-2006 08:35 PM

Re: Interviews and Articles
 
Thanks Saumon! :wavey:

Mara_M 09-08-2006 08:39 PM

Re: Interviews and Articles
 
novels to read :lol:

{Annie} 09-12-2006 10:52 AM

Re: Interviews and Articles
 
Kolya is blogging this week from Beijing :banana: :banana: :banana:

Tuesday, September 12, 2006



Phew, I made it to Beijing!

After my semifinal loss to Roger Federer at the US Open on Saturday, I immediately made my flight and hotel reservations. I had planned to fly from New York to San Francisco with American Airlines, then onto Beijing.

When the car took my girlfriend and I to the airport at 5:30am things were going well. Arriving early, with only a reservation form and no tickets I went straight to the check-in desk.

Then things started to get difficult. At the desk the girl told me, "You lost your reservation yesterday. You do not have a flight." Undettered, I responded, "No problem, give me something different." "Okay, we have something for 11:30am," she said.

Having arrived at 7am I needed to wait four hours and finally got on a 16-hour flight to Tokyo. Unable to sleep, my eyes were red as I watched six different movies. Switching planes to Japan Airways, I slept throughout the four-hour journey.

We finally arrived in Beijing at around 9pm last night and were surprised to see that my two bags of clothes had arrived safely. The organization was great as a car was waiting to pick us up and when we got to the hotel, we didnít need to check-in Ė just like at the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai last year.

I slept well in a perfect suite and woke at 6am. We ate a great breakfast at 8am and then ventured out to a supermarket just 50 meters from the hotel where we bought some chocolate and water. Although there are plenty of Europeans at the hotel, none of them seem to venture outside. Perhaps they are scared?

The flights and the time differences do take it out of you, but if I have proper rest and prepare for each match then I can play a lot of tournaments and feel okay. The time difference between here and New York is 12 hours so today it is tough for me, but I will try to sleep better tonight and then maybe tomorrow I will be okay.

While I may not make it downstairs to the hotel dinner and reception at 8pm, I am looking forward to exploring Beijing. Weíd like to see the Great Wall of China and my girlfriend is particularly keen to do some shopping.

Iíll write more after my first match tomorrow.

Nikolay

alelysafina 09-12-2006 11:02 AM

Re: Interviews and Articles
 
*dies!*

This is too awesome!!!

:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Scotso 09-13-2006 08:19 AM

Re: Interviews and Articles
 
:D

linus 09-13-2006 12:01 PM

Re: Interviews and Articles
 
to enjoy the 2nd entry please :rolls: :rolls:

OMG, no words from me :haha:

btw, pics and some funny things will come after i finish watching Mario' match :wavey:

{Annie} 09-13-2006 12:36 PM

Re: Interviews and Articles
 
New blog entry :rolls: :rolls: :rolls:

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Hello again. After my first post yesterday, I went to practice and then did a photo session with Rolex. By the time I got back to the hotel I was very tired!

My girlfriend, Irina, then gave me two choices we either go somewhere or go to sleep. To stay in her good books, I choose the second option.

We asked directions to a shopping mall and, not realising it was a 30-minute journey, headed off in hope of finding some good bargains. By the time we got there we didnít feel like buying anything. Having walked around for 90 minutes looking in shop windows we decided there was nothing.

Irina stopped to buy some sunglasses and tried on plenty. A further thirty minutes later, I was almost asleep! At this point some Chinese girls, who were trying to sell some products, asked if I was a tennis player. I signed some autographs and posed with them for photos.

By the time we got back to the hotel I had 15 minutes to change my clothes and head down to a cocktail party in the hotel, which was a presentation with the tournament director and sponsors. Irina didnít go she went asleep straight away.

I spent an hour down at the party and tried to eat some food, but was distracted from my meal by autograph hunters. It is safe to say that I went to bed with very little in my stomach. By 9:30pm I was fast asleep.

Irina and I have been together for three-and-a-half hoursÖ oops! Thatís not long! Weíve been together three-and-a-half years. We first got together when I won in Estoril [in 2003]. It was the first time she had come to a tournament, and I won! That was surprising. Irina comes from Chelyabinsk, to the east of the Ural Mountains, and works in Moscow having finished her psychology studies last year.

Now Irina travels with me every week. She didnít travel in Australian back in January, but now sheís full-time. Irina provides me massages. If she isnít here I get a Russian physio. But I donít like that too much.

Irina helps me from going crazy at tournaments. If something is bad at a tournament, we spend more time together and donít think about wanting to go home and rest. Itís one of the reasons why I play so many tournaments. If my family and girlfriend are here then Iím fine.

The people in Beijing have been very hospitable. Itís my first time here and I donít think I have ever got such VIP treatment. In the United States and Europe the organization is different. Everyone comes to me here like I am so famous and organize the best things for me.

I played my first match early this morning and it went okay. Prior to the match I went to the tournament doctor because I was experiencing breathing difficulties, like asthma. I have found it tough to breath here. I tried to get the job done quickly, so a two sets win was good.

Tonight, my girlfriend is in charge of arrangements. I donít know. I think we will just rest on our second full day in Beijing. Perhaps we will use the hotel swimming pool, the sauna and have a massage. While we like Chinese food, I donít think it wonít be a good idea after a swim. So maybe room service.

Nikolay

I am still dying at the first picture and it's been hours since I saw it first :lol:



alelysafina 09-13-2006 05:03 PM

Re: Interviews and Articles
 
:lol: :lol: I love this entry!

:haha: :haha: to that picture!!

Scotso 09-13-2006 09:42 PM

Re: Interviews and Articles
 
I love it! He needs to wear that on court. :D

Mara_M 09-13-2006 10:00 PM

Re: Interviews and Articles
 
:spit: it's not dima's blog but wow,kolya can be funny too :haha: :angel:


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