10-21-2009, 06:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Re: Peter Bodo article Shanghai
by Pete Bodo
Well, this pretty much seals the deal - it's officially Kolya time. I'll say this for Nikolay Davydenko, he's the consumate professional in terms of taking advantage of his opportunities. I think he's played less (and been injured more) in recent times than at the beginning of his career, but he's established himself over the years as the ultimate worker bee in men's tennis.
Davydenko doesn't complain (as far as I know) about the number of tournaments he plays; if anything, he'd probably gripe that there aren't enough of them. He doesn't seem as disgruntled as some of his peers by the touring way of life. His attitude seems to be, just tell me where to show up and play, and make sure you spell the name right on the check. This is Kolya's 19th tournament; six more than Roger Federer has played. He'll probably end up playing 21 or 22 - and the Davis Cup was a washout this year, so he couldn't add those weeks to his toll either.
Over the years, we've seen a number of other players who fall squarely into this Can't Get Enough tradition. Most of you are too young to remember the New Zealander, Onny Parun (he played early in the pro era). I think Onny figured he had to travel so far from home to play tennis that there was no point in going back once he hit the road. Then there was Tomas Smid, or Smidley, as many called him. He was a more recent vintage, and being Czech made his life somewhat easier, travel-wise. But he was a road warrior, too. He played every place that would have him, never uttered a compaint, and almost always played doubles, too. And it wasn't so long ago that wing-ding Jelena Jankovic seemed bent on shattering the mark for most frequent flier miles accumulated in a single year by a WTA pro.
Many others also play an insanely loaded schedule, but the good players who do so are a breed apart. People always snicker at these workhorses, and suggest that they're merely avaricious, but I don't really buy that. I think there's a certain dispostion to which this kind of grinding comes naturally; these players are workaholics, not just greedy pros feathering their nests for the future. And while Jankovic is an exception, these tireless spear carriers trend toward being a little grim. Maybe they're depressed, like that guy who stays at the office until 8 pm every night, and has black bags under his eyes. The last thing he would think to do, in terms of a meaningful change of life, is work less.
Here's something I found pretty amazing, though. Given that Kolya is ranked no. 8 in the world and this is his 20th tournament, he's earned "only" $1.3 million in prize-money this year. I'd happily swap bank accounts with him, and so would many of you, I presume. But that's not really the point. In relative terms, Kolya's prize-money is surprisingly low. I don't even dare to look at what a golfer with a comparable resume - Davydenko is certainly a high-value name and a staple in late stages of important tournaments- pulls down.
And even if Kolya is chasing the money, what's the big deal? I thought that's why we ended up with Open tennis in the first place, because tennis players wanted to be paid for what they did best, and it was usually the only thing they wanted to do. A player can love the game and the life and like the money too, right?
But Kolya is up against it today, even though his slap-shot style and quickness are great assets on the surfaces of the fall tour. He's facing a - dare I say it? - resurgent Rafael Nadal, who can out-muscle him, outsteady him, and neutralize Kolya's quick-strike instincts with speed and punishing counter-punching. It might do wonders for Nadal to win his first tournament since he returned from his long break (he was dealing with knee tendinitis), and it will be interesting to see if adding another Masters 1000 to his collection, with the Tennis Masters Cup looming on the horizon, will propel him back into the no. 1 conversation. We still have a pretty long way to go this year in a number of ways, weeks being the least of them.
Happy Sunday, everyone. I'm on the road most of the day but back with you on Monday
10-21-2009, 06:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Re: Presser after Finals - Nadal Match at Shanghai Masters
SHANGHAI ATP MASTERS 1000
October 18, 2009
N. DAVYDENKO/R. Nadal
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. What are your feelings? And did you think that it would be so easy, quote unquote?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Easy what?
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.
10-23-2009, 01:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Re: Nadal's presser after the Shanghai Finals
Alot of questions are about Kolya so I think I will keep the interview here.
SHANGHAI ATP MASTERS 1000
October 18, 2009
N. DAVYDENKO/R. Nadal
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You said yesterday you're very happy to make the final. It's a good achievement for you. How do you feel now?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, happy too, no? So I don't know if this is working well, but, yeah, I think, sure. I don't like to lose, but I had my chance. He beat me. He played very good match. Just congratulate him, because he deserve the victory, no?
I have my chance in the first set and I am especially happy with one thing: Is the first match after my injury comeback against one top player. I was competing 100% of my conditions, and I was competing. I really felt I really have chances to win.
So that's the first time, and that's the most positive thing for me, and I fight all the time with positive attitude, no physical problems. So that's very good news for me.
Very good Asian tour, Asian season for me, no? Semifinals Beijing, final here. Just happy for everything. Sure, I would love to -- I would like to win here, but the tournament is very positive, and I gonna continue working like this to try to continue in this way, no?
I am playing much better, am moving much better on court, and it's still working like this.
Q. How difficult is it to hit winners against Nikolay?
RAFAEL NADAL: He play all the time inside the court, very aggressive. He had -- he didn't had a lot of mistakes, no? Just playing well from both sides. Just for few moments in the first set he had few mistakes with the forehand.
But was difficult, no? It was difficult to have winners, because he, since the first ball, he push you back, no? So I think I did well. I played well. I played a good match. You know, I think I needed a little bit more be calm in this moment, but to have this calm I need to play with -- well, I don't know what the word is right, but with the calm of if you win tournament before or you play with more calm these important moments, no? So that's the only thing that I need right now, and this match works very well for me, no?
Q. Is he a little bit underrated? People don't really think of him that much, you know. They know he's in the top 10, but nobody talks about his game and whatever. Do people not give him enough credit for the player he is?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I don't know. He had five Masters in a row, Masters Cup? So for last five years he was in the top five.
Yeah, probably he's a guy, well, calm guy. Doesn't show no emotions sometimes. So, yeah, the people probably don't talk a lot about him, but the players, we know how good is Nikolay, no? And when he's playing his best level, he's very difficult to play against him.
He play -- he has all the shots from the baseline. He has all the shots. He play inside the court, and, yeah, he's very difficult to play. It's very difficult to play against him. Just congratulate him. He did very well, and with this victory probably he's closer to be in London. That's it, no?
Q. It was the same story that it was last year in Miami?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, completely different.
Q. Completely different?
RAFAEL NADAL: Sure. In Miami I played really bad. No, that tournament in Miami I played really bad. He didn't play the same like today. He played worse. That's my feeling.
No, no. I was completing much better this year, today, than what I did in Miami last year final, no? Is completely different, my opinion.
Q. Are you surprised that he hasn't won a Grand Slam yet? Because with the type -- you say he has all the shots. How come he hasn't won a Grand Slam?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I am not surprised. He can do it, but, you know, how difficult is winning Grand Slam, no?
Q. I don't know. (laughter.)
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I know. You don't know; I know.
Q. In your mind, do you have an idea of when you expect to be playing at your absolute best with calm?
RAFAEL NADAL: That's impossible to say, no? I just can say I gonna work hard to be at my best as soon as possible, and I am not seeing myself very far of that.
But I am playing hardcourts and doing well. But at the same time, I have more titles and more wins when I play on clay, so in this season is in hard, the hardcourts, and I am doing very good end of the season.
But seems like is not enough, because I didn't play for a while during the middle of the season and seemed like I need more. But if you compare the results of the last years, semifinals of Cincinnati. This is only my second time to play semifinal in Cincinnati in my career. I played semifinals in US Open. I only did last year. The years before I never did. And I played final here. Last year I played semifinals in Madrid, if we compare, no? And two years ago I played quarterfinals and another time quarterfinals.
No, the results is I'm doing well, no? I'm doing one of the best end of the seasons in my life. But, yeah, I happy for that. I would love to have a title, but if I am still playing like this in Paris and London, it's difficult, sure. The best players are there. But in Paris I expect to have another chance to play a good tournament, no?
And if you are there all the time semifinals, final, you gonna win. I don't know when, but you're gonna win.
Q. I just wondered against a player like Nikolay, I think you played one dropshot today. Is he a very tough player to play that shot against, especially?
RAFAEL NADAL: Almost impossible, because he's inside the court all the time, so you can play dropshot when you are attacking, so you are -- if you are defending almost all the time, it's impossible to play dropshots, no?
Probably the only thing what I can improve it more today, no? I change it but late. I change it -- in the 5-2 I played a very good game with my serve, attack, having very good forehands. But, yeah, to do that all the time, I need a little bit more confidence and a little bit more matches at this level.
But I compete. I was competing all the time at very good level, trying to find solutions all the time, and I did well, but he did a little bit better than me.
Q. Your quarterfinal and semifinal your opponent retired in a row. Do you think it's part of reason you lose this match today? Because you are not --
RAFAEL NADAL: No.
Q. -- physically and mentally warmed up?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, no, sure not.
Q. Yesterday after losing the semifinal, Novak just give us three-minutes press conference after three-hours tennis, actually, because he tends to give one-sentence answer to every question. But you always handle loss very well, including press conference, which we really appreciate. My question is we all know how win means to players, but could you tell us what lose means to you?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, every lose is different, and every moment is completely different. So the important thing is, in my opinion, is when you go on court, you have to know you can win and you can lose. So if you know that before the match, is easier to accept that after both things, no?
The thing is you must accept the victories with the same calm than the losers. So if you win, you win, you are more happy, you feel you are the best of the world. You think something like this is where this is gonna be more difficult to be there and still winning more time. And if you lose, anyway, you can be angry or doesn't matter, but everyone has different character, and that's part of the character.
So for me today is a lose but is a positive lose. Sometimes I have a negative lose. I never was very angry, no?
But, no, that's character, and I know I can lose every match and I can win every match. Later you be here, and that's part of the work, and happy to be here and happy to be in the tour, to be playing, you know, another time with no problems. Just thinking about tennis, so that's very good news for me. I expect to be here for a long time I play without problems for a few more years.
End of FastScripts
01-10-2010, 01:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Re: Interviews and Articles
eh, same question again. anyone seen ANY pressers from Doha? were they held at all? the off site is annoying as hell, couldn't find anything on there.
p.s. ^never said thanks to you. thanks!!!
(just found that on anothher site, never came back here)
well researched article on a blog, written just after the London WTF
All the Bang, But No Bucks 12/08/2009 - 4:29 PM
Most of us don’t actually “buy” the notion that paid-to-play celebrity endorsers really love or even use the products they hawk, but that’s not stopping marketing folks from shelling out more than $1 billion a year to their hired shills.
The practice of spokespeople paying mere lip service for payment has gotten so out of control that the Federal Trade Commission last month issued new truth-in-advertising guidelines for celebrity endorsements. Basically, the FTC is sending a message to the likes of Britney Spears that she should be able to prove she really does shop at Kohl’s, and to Lee Majors that he had better be a true believer in the $14.95 hearing aid he touts on those late-night TV infomercials.
Some of us noticed a minor transgression by an A-list endorser Thanksgiving weekend when it turned out the car veteran Buick pitchman Tiger Woods cracked up was a Cadillac SUV, showing that in real life he wouldn’t be caught dead—or injured—in a Buick Enclave.
In fairness to Woods, the Buick deal—which was supposed to extend through 2009—was prematurely ended late last year when the recession put a stranglehold on the car business.
That also happened to be about the time that another athlete, Nikolay Davydenko, was told by Prince Sports that his racquet endorsement contract wouldn’t be renewed for 2009.
The difference was that after he got the boot, Davydenko retained his loyalty to the Prince Ozone Pro Tour by continuing to sing the praises of his magic racquet. He has repeatedly credited the Ozone as a major reason for his Top-5 finishes from 2005-08, the years of his Prince contract. Davydenko is particularly fond of the racquet’s O-Technology—big holes (instead of traditional grommets) around the frame which reduce wind resistance and hence increase racquet-head speed, according to the TENNIS.com review.
While Woods was plowing his Caddy through a neighbor’s tree, the Russian was plowing through the field at the Barclay ATP Finals in London. The little guy’s boffo run—he defeated all of this year’s Grand Slam event champions—ended when he played the biblical David to 6-foot-5 Juan Martin del Potro’s Goliath in the finale, thumping the Tandil tree topper in straight sets.
Afterward, the media asked the still sponsorless and Ozone-toting Nikolay if he thought his London success would finally get him a racquet deal, any deal with any brand. He said sure, that would be easy, but he can’t give up his magic racquet. As he put it in the post-match news conference: “Doesn't matter, [about] other racquets… for me it's important how I play first, not about money, how much another company pay for me. Then I [risk] losing everything, out of Top 10.”
Which prompted the obvious follow-up question: “How come Prince does not sponsor you any more?” He answered, “Prince give everything to [Prince endorser Maria] Sharapova, and no money anymore.”
The interview transcript noted that he was smiling when he said that. He was exaggerating, of course. Sharapova is probably Prince’s highest-paid endorser, but there are 104 other ATP and WTA pros who have “Team Prince” endorsement deals these days, and the highest ranked of its 64 male pros is No. 13 Gael Monfils, who has never even made the cut for the eight-player ATP year-end finale.
But all racquet companies guard their money relationships with players closely, so when I asked Prince what the deal (or no deal) was, I got a predictable response in the form of a statement, part of which read:
“We don’t discuss our player endorsement discussions, and any speculation regarding a more formal endorsement with Davydenko is just that.” It was followed by the equally predictable, “Yes, we are delighted that Nikolay has continued to find success with Prince racquets and O-Technology, and wish him continued success.”
My best guess is Prince dumped Davydenko for the same corporate belt-tightening reason Buick released Tiger Woods, and I suspect all the tennis brands these recessionary days might be reevaluating their pro-player spending as well.
A Prince spokesman did note that the company’s online traffic doubled on the Monday after the London event from the same day the week prior, but the brand couldn’t tell how much of the spike could be attributed to Davydenko’s performance, or to the London doubles win by Team Prince’s Bryan brothers that weekend, or to the overall holiday gift rush.
But for Prince the Davydenko performance must have been a marketer’s dream—it got the bang for no bucks. And more importantly, it came from the only kind of sincere celebrity endorser there is—the so-rare unpaid pitchman, and it kind of makes you wonder if you should have what he’s having.
I won’t be test-driving a Buick this week, but I’m pretty sure I know what racquet I’ll be playtesting.
and an interesting comment:
Posted by Squashman
01/01/2010 at 01:39 AM
There is a Squash player, who is now #1 in the world, who is an ex-Prince sponsored player. He just could not switch racquets away from his trusty prince. Prince ended his contract and he went with Head, then during his head contract, started using his old prince again, with black paint. Head finally had to end his contract and he went back to his old racquet, without a prince sponsor. Same situation as Davydenko. This guy also wears Adidas shoes, but the shoes tend to peel away at the toe and so he put TAPE on the shoes to make it stay together. Imagine, your player puts tape on your shoes and uses someone else's racquet. What a guy to sponsor!
Last edited by jaana : 01-11-2010 at 12:43 AM.
01-14-2010, 07:30 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Re: Interviews and Articles
The Man Who Can No Longer Be Ignored
by Kate Flory
Nikolay Davydenko celebrates after rallying from match point down to beat Rafael Nadal in the Doha final.
Nikolay Davydenko doesn't want the media attention that is heaped on his peers like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. He just wants their success. As the hottest player on the ATP World Tour heading into the Australian Open, the Russian may be ready to claim his first Grand Slam title.
It is time to sit up and take notice of Nikolay Davydenko - whether he likes it or not. The Russian, notorious for shunning the limelight and being overlooked by fans, media and sponsors alike, is playing some of the finest tennis of his career and may be ready to add a Grand Slam title to his collection.
Davydenko, who has finished no lower than No. 6 in the year-end South African Airways ATP Rankings for the past five years, has always been overshadowed by peers including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick. But he wouldn’t have it any other way.
"I enjoy being like this, I don't want to be famous like these guys," he says. Why? "Because I like to lead a much more private life. I enjoy going to clubs and having nobody recognise me. I can sometimes do crazy things and nobody will take pictures of me or tell the newspapers. For me to be famous is not so good.
"I really don't think about media," he added. "They just concentrate on the number one, two and three guys and that's it. For me, really, I have no pressure; that's how I like it. Nobody thinks about me, nobody talks about me. I am really relaxed, enjoying myself and just concentrating on the matches. If I win a Grand Slam, or if I become No. 1, I'd be the same guy. I really try not to be famous."
All he wants, he says, is a little more fan support, particularly when playing on home soil. "I was really disappointed in Moscow [earlier this year] when I played against Marat. Mostly, like 80 per cent, supported Safin," lamented Davydenko after his win over US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro in the final of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. "For sure, it was the last tournament for him. But I saw how many people liked him, how they supported him and enjoyed how he played. I hope that now Marat is finished - and no longer as famous in Russia - that I will be the favourite for Russia and everybody will support me."
Tennis fans struggle to connect with Davydenko. They see only a hard-working and highly focused player, who rarely shows his emotions on court. The real Davydenko is straight-talking, fiercely loyal to those around him and blessed with a dry sense of humour.
Davydenko certainly does not lack support from his family, notably his brother and coach, Eduard, and wife of three years, Irina. Both travel with him, although Eduard will take a step back this season to spend more time with his family, and Davydenko knows that their support has been invaluable.
"I really enjoy it, when my family is with me I do better at tournaments and I don’t miss home at all. I can say I don’t want to go home, because my home is with me now."
Irina has travelled with him on the tour for the past six and a half years. The pair met when he made his Davis Cup debut against Czech Republic in 2003 and she first accompanied him to a tournament later that year in Estoril, where he succeeded in winning his second ATP World Tour title.
"It was the first time she had come to a tournament with me," recalled Davydenko. "I was feeling good because I was with my favourite woman, I saw that I could win tournaments and thought Why not? - She can travel with me to every tournament!
"She just tries to relax my mind mostly. She helps me to enjoy myself outside of tennis and tells me to forget tennis because you cannot think about tennis 24 hours a day; you start to be tired. We don't speak about tennis and do something different."
Like many players, Davydenko, who grew up inspired to play like Ivan Lendl, was forced to make difficult decisions at a young age in order to pursue a tennis career at the highest level. In 1992, aged 11, he packed his bags, bade farewell to his parents, Vladimir and Tatjana, and went to live in Volgograd with his older brother Eduard, who had enjoyed a promising junior career before going to study sports training and coaching at university. He can remember no clear reason for wanting to undertake such a big move. Fate, he decides, must have intervened.
"I really don't remember very much about when I left. My mother just told me that I wanted to go and live with my brother and that’s what I did. I really don't know why I wanted to go there and play tennis. I'm not so crazy about practising tennis. But something changed in my life; I don’t know… I think a sign was given to me to tell me to change my life."
From that day forward, Eduard has served the role of big brother, coach and mentor through the good times and the bad, guiding Davydenko to 20 ATP World Tour titles, including three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophies, and four Grand Slam semi-finals. Davydenko has never once considered employing someone else.
"He's my brother, we have always been close. He always helps me with what I need. He knows me very well, and he can always give to me everything that I need. We spend a lot of time together, on the court and off the court also. He knows everything very well, that's why I would find it very difficult to change to another coach. I'm always happy with him, because he always knows what I need to do, how to practice and everything. He can prepare me for tournaments, and I feel confident."
Indeed, one of the few goals Davydenko and his brother are yet to achieve together is Grand Slam championship glory. Two semi-finals apiece at Roland Garros and the US Open, with defeat coming at the hands of Federer on three of the four occasions, are Davydenko's best efforts in the majors. But, as he approaches the Australian Open in the form of his life, the right-hander believes that the best is yet to come. Even a runner-up finish won't suffice for the determined Russian.
"I feel I can beat everyone, because I've beaten everyone already," said Davydenko. "Maybe then I have better confidence for sure. I'm feeling like I can win and really play very good tennis.
"Five years in the Top 10 is not amazing, but it's good, it's really good. I have enjoyed all these years in the Top 10. I've had great results, I've won 20 titles. I hope that's not all, though. I will try to do more, I hope, if I can. I have memories of playing semi-finals in Grand Slams. But a semi-final is not like winning. You enjoy it only if you win the tournament."
Davydenko, who played dress up in 2008 while blogging for ATPWorldTour.com, enters the Australian Open as the man of the moment, coming in on a nine-match unbeaten run and labelled as being in "incredible" form by Nadal. En route to winning the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in his final outing of 2009 he defeated Nadal in the round-robin stage and earned his first win in 13 attempts over Federer in the semi-finals. Then, in the first week of the 2010 season, he followed up by defeating the world's top two players again to triumph at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha.
Davydenko's performance in Doha was jaw-dropping. In the first set of his semi-final against Federer he put all 27 first serves into play en route to a 6-4, 6-4 win. In the final, a sizzling Nadal served up a bagel in the first set and held two match points in the second-set tie-break. But with his newfound self belief, Davydenko rallied to win 0-6, 7-6(8), 6-4.
As is his wont, though, Davydenko won't be putting himself under any additional pressure by declaring himself one of the favourites for the first Grand Slam of 2010 in Melbourne, where he is a three-time quarter-finalist. He is content to quietly make his way through the draw, round by round.
"Really, I don’t think about the Australian Open because it's too much pressure then for me. I enjoy coming to Australia, and will concentrate on the first round, then the second. For me, it's important to see how I play every match and feel my way step by step, and then my confidence will get better and better."
One thing is for sure: Even if the media is looking elsewhere, Davydenko's fellow players will be watching him very closely, indeed.
01-17-2010, 07:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Re: Interviews and Articles
Article from Herald Sun ( Australia )
Nikolay Davydenko puts critics to sword Leo Schlink From: Sunday Herald Sun January 17, 2010 12:0
NIKOLAY Davydenko is international sport's most unlikely success symbol.
More accountant than athlete, reclusive Davydenko has operated on the fringes of world tennis for the best part of a fine career.
On the surface, he shapes as Mr Bland wielding Excalibur.
Beyond the stony face, Davydenko is one of the most perplexing characters on tour.
By turns, dour and hilarious, sincere and careless.
What is beyond dispute is the fact he was vilified after an investigation into a mid-match betting plunge in one of his matches in Sopot in 2007.
No charges were laid, but the damage was done.
If Davydenko is unfazed by accusations of being boring, charisma-free and mercenary, others are less enamoured by the slurs.
Beaten by Davydenko at the ATP World Tour finals in London in November after winning the pair's first 12 matches, Roger Federer rounded on the doubters and the accusers.
Asked if Davydenko was sufficiently respected, Federer said: "Well, I don't know if you guys (media) have respect.
"I have. I think it's most important that he has respect from his fellow players.
"I think he didn't have the easiest of last few years . . . where people suspected him of doing bad things in the sport.
"He had a cloud over his name for quite some time, which was not very fair.
"I think he handled it very well towards the end.
"To be able to continue playing this well by being asked always the same stupid questions must not have been very easy for him.
"So I respect him not only for that, but obviously for the player he is."
Dubbed the invisible man because of his low profile, Davydenko again claimed Federer's scalp in Doha to emerge as a legitimate grand slam contender.
He has been an under-achiever at the highest level, failing to reach a major final despite being a top-10 fixture.
The Russian struggles to explain his success, other than to point to the obvious -- hard work and a willingness to travel anywhere to play.
"I'm smaller (178cm and 70kg)," Davydenko said of his slight physique.
"It's like you can play different tennis. Not only big serve; you can get good return, running, good control baseline, play volley.
"How fast you running also is important, and, for sure, concentration. It's like everything together.
"I practise two hours a day. Much running."
Sages believe Davydenko would almost certainly have captured one of the big four by now if not for a slight hitch -- grand slam matches are mostly played outdoors, in the heat, and over best of five sets.
If the Australian Open was exclusively indoors and over best of three sets, Davydenko would rightly fancy his chances.
As it is, Davydenko is the most dominant player on the ATP World Tour, triumphing in last year's Shanghai Masters, ATP World Tour Finals and, a week ago, the Qatar ExxonMobil Open.
He not only defeated Federer in Qatar, he rocked Rafa Nadal by saving two match points en route to victory.
"The first set was 6-0, everybody saw it," the 28-year-old said of the Doha final.
"But if you saw the match, it was not so easy.
"I really had the chance to win some games, but I played a little bit slowly, he played much faster.
"(In the end) I think he lost a little bit of concentration and lost the match. For me it was a really good fight."
That is always the way for the baseliner. Should Melbourne Park escape its traditional January heatwave, Davydenko may yet vault to a success once considered beyond him.
If there are any doubts about that, run it past Roger Federer.
07-20-2010, 05:57 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Re: Interviews and Articles
I translated a long German interview with Kolya:
„I’m Russian, but feeling German“
Interview by Petra Philippsen
July 20th, 2010
Punctually, tidy, reliable, disciplined – that’s how Nikolay Davydenko describes himself. He is the title defender of the tournament in Hamburg. The tennis world champion talks about home, his change and the increased recognition.
You have lived more than 10 years in Germany. Do you like the Germans?
I like the German mentality, which is totally different as the Russian one. Everything is punctual when it concerns appointments. You exactly know when, where and how. In Russia you can come late 2 days or a whole day and always say: I was stuck in a traffic jam. That’s normal.
Was the adaptation different when you came to Germany?
Yes, it was funny. I was 15 years old and couldn’t speak German really well. When I knew the language better after one year I was able to understand things here better and learned a lot. I’m tidy, reliable, punctual and disciplined. I like this. I’m Russian, but I feel German. When I come to Moscow everyone is teasing me: You are a Russian German. Your punctuality is great, but it’s not Russian, they say.
Somehow you match the cliché which we have from Russians – you like Vodka and like to talk about money.
That’s true. But I have a low tolerance for alcohol because I’m so thin. I immediately fall asleep after one glass. Russians have three topics: Women, cars, money. That’s what they talk about. That also goes for tennisplayers.
What are other differences between Russians and Germans?
Russians are more open. When someone invites for dinner, no matter if 10 or 20 people, he pays, because he was the one who invited. That’s typical Russian. When I invite German friends they don’t understand this and want to pay themselves. At first I let them do it, but meanwhile I pay for everyone.
Where is your home?
I always felt at home in Germany, not in Russia. It was always strange when I came to Moscow. Now, as I bought an apartment there, I start to feel a bit more at home there. But whenever I am one week in Germany I think I have arrived home.
You never really seemed to like the general public and to write autographs…
Whenever someone asks for an autograph or a picture I like it. But when someone then asks if I am Davydenko I say: No, I’m a soccer player. This question is just stupid, they exactly know it.
And you aren’t bothered anymore by private questions?
Noone ever asked me something private in former times. That’s why I never answered.
Therefore you got asked 3 years about your involvement in betting scandals.
Nobody talks to me about this anymore, not since I won in London. That’s a bit surprising for me.
What else has that title changed?
I feel more recognition. It feels different. Not just in Russia, but worldwide. Nearly at every airport.
In former times you were seen as an emotionless ballmachine, who doesn’t make any mistakes. Now you seen to be more open.
Now I make mistakes. No, seriously, to show emotions on the court is a sign of weakness for me. You don’t have to show anything. Then you lose power and concentration and in the end the match. I only think I have to work, to keep concentrated, I need to win. I don’t care what the people think about me, how I look like. These 2 hours in a match are just work. But I like it that the people now see that I’m a different person off the court.
That took quite a while. You have been rebuffing to the press in the past. Now your press conferences are entertaining. Have we judged you wrong?
I think so. I have always been the same. But, as I already said, nobody asked me about anything apart from the match. I try now to be more loose towards the media, to answer what goes through my mind in the moment. Someting crazy.
Does your wife understand something about tennis?
My wife is my secret coach. She can explain to me exactly how I played like and what I did wrong. That’s good.
Do you pay her a fee?
That would be typically German. No, she can buy everything what she wants. I don’t made a marriage contract. 50 % belong to her. But she is very intelligent and she knows how hard it is to earn money. We aren’t really leading a frugal life, but fortunately I’m earning more money as we actually spend.
Do you make provision for the the future?
Of course. I can continue to play a bit in the Top 10, maybe Top 5, and earn money. I even have a sponsor now. I save money, make investments, without risks – exactly like Germans do.
Since you became the World Champion in wWnter you played so good that even Federer and Nadal were afraid of you. Did you enjoyed this?
For sure. They were afraid of me at the Australian Open. That surprised me. Everyone said I would be able to win there. That was unusual that people talked about me like this at a Grand Slam. It was pressure for me somehow, but also not bad as it meant more selfconfidence as I thought: Oh, I play that good?
In spring you were stopped by a fracture of your left wrist and you could come back to the tour just for the grass season. How do you feel?
I don’t have any pains during the matches. But 4 months ago I could nearly beat everyone easily. Now I barely have any selfconfidence. I have to start from the beginning after the injury. It doesn’t matter whether you are a topplayer. In your head you start from 0.
How does this show?
It’s very difficult for me to find back my game and my rhythm. I had to change the surfaces a lot in the last weeks, which doesn’t make it easier. Lately the Davis Cup in Moscow has destroyed me. Physically and the pressure was huge. People expected everything from me and I was very nervous. The result of this was also the early loss in Stuttgart.
That doesn’t sound very optimistic.
I hope things will be better here in Hamburg, but it will be really difficult to defend my title. I need power, luck and fight. My selfconfidence has to come back soon otherwise I have to retire.
German source: http://www.faz.net/s/Rub9CD731D06F17...~Scontent.html
09-24-2010, 03:16 AM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Barranquilla (COL)
Re: Interviews and Articles
Kolya, come back
"Poor is the man whose pleasures depend on the permission of another" .. Madonna
Drooling after Schuettler, Bolelli, Volandri, Starace (short haired version), ToJo, Tursunov, Alves, Davydenko, Djokovic, Petzschner, Ferrero, Simon, Qureshi
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