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Old 02-23-2009, 10:06 PM   #46
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Default Re: Interviews and Articles

Davydenko hopes make Tour comeback

http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles.../10288850.html

02/23/2009 11:47 PM | By Alaric Gomes, Senior Reporter

Dubai: Top Russian player Nicolay Davydenko is hoping to surmount his recent injuries and get back on to the ATP Tour as soon as possible.

"I need to overcome this part of my life and get on with my tennis," Davydenko told Gulf News after attending the Dugas Kids' Day at one of the outside courts along the sidelines of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships yesterday.

"I have been to the doctor and he reckons I could be playing again in another two weeks' time, which is good news for me as I need to get out there and start enjoying my tennis again," the 27-year-old Davydenko added.

The Russian injured his left heel in his season-opening tournament in Chennai and withdrew from his second round match there. At the Australian Open it was the same injury that broke a streak of 29 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments played since the 2001 US Open.

Davydenko took a one-month break and made a return on the Tour at the Rotterdam Open, and lost in the second round. The Russian is currently in Dubai as part of his commitment to the ATP Tour.

"Hopefully, I will be ready for the US tournaments starting with Miami in a couple of weeks," Davydenko confided. The top Russian finished in the top-5 for a fourth straight season last year. A rare distinction is the fact that he has won at least one ATP title for six straight years.

In 2008, Davydenko captured three ATP titles in five finals, including his second ATP Masters Series shield in Miami, where one of his highlights was back-to-back wins over Andy Roddick in the semifinal and Rafael Nadal in the final.

One of the possible reasons for his constant run-in with injuries is the busy schedule Davydenko follows on Tour. But he does not agree. "I am getting older," he joked. "Take a look at this season& I have not even started 2009," he rued.

Bracing for a challenging 2009, Davydenko admitted feeling apprehensive when he eventually took the first step in his quest to participate in Miami game.

"A lot really depends on how I feel going into the tournament. The first round would be very important as I would need to start winning and then hope to carry through on that confidence as the tournament progresses," Davydenko stated.

At the same time, he was not too concerned with putting himself under pressure as long as his health holds out. "I do not want to be injured and that is one of my goals," he shrugged.

"I enjoy this status of being the top Russian player, I always have since the pas few years, and I know the fans are behind me," Davydenko said.

Though not playing this week, Davydenko is pleased he is here as that gives him an opportunity to explore Dubai.

"The good thing about not spending time on court is that I have spent time outside exploring all the good things happening in Dubai. It has been an exciting time for me," said Davydenko.
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