Join Date: Jul 2002
Re: Nikolai Davydenko
Q. Can you just express your feelings at being in the semifinals of the French Open.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, feeling is, I don't know. Like, after the match is like really tired. No feeling.
Tomorrow I have birthday, 24, and we'll see. Tomorrow, okay, no match. Day off for me is good. Because I do my present now from my brother here today. He is 35 and I won today match. Still reach semifinal. For him is good present.
Q. The day after your birthday, you play for a place in the final. Big news, huh?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah. Is good for me I didn't play my match in my birthday. If I lose, I really don't like in my birthday to play tennis.
Q. Can you now go all the way?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Now it's, okay, like feeling something happy, yes. Because first time in a semifinal in a Grand Slam. I reach Top 10 now in ranking. In next week, it's for me okay, it's good and important because in the next tournament, I already in Top 10, like seeding in next tournament is also good.
Q. What would you say about Tommy Robredo? The kind of play that he has. What was the key of the match in your opinion?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Key, it was fighting, fighting. Like try to fight every ball. Just try to do something what you can do. Because Robredo play well from baseline. He just could move. He play ‑‑ I don't know. After third set, I thinking I win after like 4‑3 for me, was in my serving. But after this game, he play unbelievable. He win ‑‑ he make all winners. He make 4‑All and then he play good.
I really like get impression of me and was difficult something to find. And was like 6‑4, I didn't thinking about like, okay, fifth set started. But and then like 2‑Love for me, I think, "Okay, is better now."
Then like good, long rally. Then I was really tired. Like he was really difficult then to play.
Then he play good. He move good. Just try to keep games. And was for me surprising. I don't feeling anything. I think I lose then like 6‑2, after like was 2‑All. Then I couldn't do anything.
He could make topspin everywhere. I was too much ‑‑ I moving everywhere. It was every point, like feeling I was tired, tired. And then like I feeling bad. And thinking about, "Okay, now is not my day."
But then like I tried some concentration my serve like about 3‑2 and make 3‑All. It was something ‑ I don't know ‑ like last maximum what I get power in my body, just try to keep, like, because if I lose, okay. I have the day off then, okay? Tomorrow also I have day off. But I do something to do maximum for tonight in the fifth set, and I did like in my last points.
Q. You lost the first set. You lost the first set with Rochus. You lost the first set with Coria. You have some problem to start the game or what?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, maybe in the head, you know. It's not like problem. Like I come into the match, I don't like feeling not so good player. I really play like bad. Started to like concentration more, good more ‑‑ take more like power.
Because like Robredo play good. Everybody play good. Started the first set running and everything. For me was difficult something to get control in the ball.
Second set, is like I play the same, little bit more concentration. That's it. I keep winning. It's more. It's good.
Q. Could you tell us a little bit about your racquet. You have a new racquet for the last three weeks.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah.
Q. This racquet is really okay, obviously?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah. Like change in Hamburg. Already like two days before Hamburg. Just try to like play in clay court. Is good racquet for the clay. Like play semifinal, like testing, was semifinal Hamburg. Test good.
Then I think it was not so many matches on the circuit. I keep go to the St. Polten, win St. Polten good. I say, "Okay. Okay." Testing in Roland Garros. Now in the semifinal in Roland Garros. We'll see the test in Wimbledon (laughing).
Q. So you are going to play a lefty. Do you like to play a left‑handed player?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Not really so like. But is clay court. Is not like indoor where make only serve, you know.
But against Puerta I play in Hamburg. He play well. He is good like everything from baseline. Tries good topspin to make from everywhere. It's okay. We'll see. Because in Hamburg I play well against Puerta. We'll see how I play in the semifinal here.
Q. Why do you think we're seeing so many great players come out of Russia right now? What's drawing their interest to tennis?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: But I don't think about women tennis because is another sport, I tell you already.
Just men's, yeah. We have now top only four guys instead Top 50.
I don't want to say about WTA tennis. It's different, you know. It's like can't be not Russian. Can't be Argentinian. Like why so many Argentinian men tennis, yeah?
It's like ‑‑ the question is difficult. I don't know why is Russian women play more tennis like no man.
But we have good chance. We are now good guys, four in team in Davis Cup. We play against French and in Moscow. We have good win ‑‑ should be we have to win there, because we are top fit now for the clay court season.
Q. A question beside the game. Do you still live in Germany? Do you still train there?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, my brother live in Germany. Because why is like I stay by him because practice every time if I have ‑‑ because I play 30 tournament a year. If I have some time, like few days, I go to him, to Germany, and practice there. Just take rest little bit.
Q. And it's where exactly? Where is it exactly?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, it's near from Trier, like from around Luxembourg. It's ‑‑ I mean, it's nice place.
Q. Did you get any advice at all from Marat before the match?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I didn't see him.
Q. You haven't seen him at all?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: No. No, nobody see him. Losing match and he's already in Moscow, should be.
Q. Okay. How surprised are you to be in the semifinals?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Hmm... yeah (smiling). Surprise is good questions.
Q. What do you think the answer is? Why are you there?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Why I am in semifinal?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Is thinking also why was ‑‑ why ‑‑ okay, why I won last week tournament also? You know, why before I get semifinal Hamburg? Good questions also.
Q. But this is a Grand Slam, which is different.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, but the same guys, you know. Okay, only five sets you play, but everything the same.
You know, you need to be ‑‑ yeah, you need to be top fit for the five sets. But everything the same. Tennis the same. If you there good, why you need to play bad here? Okay, sometimes you play good and then bad. But in some tournament you beat these guy, why you can't beat here, you know, also?
Q. What was happening on where you coming from? You were in the Olympic school. What's happening over there?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Right in ‑‑ Volgograd.
Q. Is the good plan for the sportsman?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: In Volgograd, it's was only swimming is good, you know, for Olympics. But tennis, it was difficult. In Russia, you know, it's a season. Outdoor, it's not so long like indoor. They have indoor courts more. Like fast surface. We have not so good clay courts or outdoor hard court like some tennis clubs. It's difficult to practice in the Moscow.
Like if I want to go to Volgograd, I need to fly to the Moscow three hours and then two hours to the Volgograd. It's completely different. From Europe it's easy to go everywhere. For me, staying in Russia and something to practice there, it's really difficult.
Q. I don't think I really heard an answer on why you think you've emerged recently and been doing so well. Could you reflect on that, please.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: What you mean?
Q. Why have you had such good results recently?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Is the same like questions why I reach semifinal, why I'm good stay in semifinal.
I don't know. It's good questions, but I cannot tell you why I'm now here in semifinal. Because we will see in the future. Only three weeks I play good. Maybe then I play bad.
You know, it's not ‑‑ for me, I am really happy. Tonight I stay in like already semifinal. I want to like wake up tomorrow and thinking, "Okay, I have day off. I have my birthday. I am 24." Like feeling everything perfect. You know, not like thinking about for the semifinal here and then I win or lose and then I go to next tournament.
Q. Ljubicic obviously was very hot in the beginning of the year. Do some players just really get into a kind of zone, really get into a good place in their game at certain times?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I don't know. I don't, like, looking about who is play good, who is bad player. But, you know, like Nadal also started play well, you know, from this year. He keep winning everything, you know. He didn't ‑‑ no losing matches, yeah. But Federer play already second year good, yeah? Like he beat everybody.
You know, sometimes, you know, like new guys coming and try to like to win also, you know. Like everybody to beat. But you can't be ‑‑ you can't beat everybody every tournament every week. It's difficult.
It's everywhere you get problem because, you know, different surface, different balls. And it was ‑‑ I can't tell ‑‑ okay, now was three weeks for me in the road, it was good. It was clay court. Like balls was good. Roland Garros. I play every year here, like I like these balls. For me, was good.
Q. Nevertheless, I think this is probably your best year in your young career. Do you see any difference in comparison with the other years, for example? Can you make any point where you think, "Okay, I made a stamp with my game or with my movement or with your fitness," or with anything that's different from the other years?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, okay, is okay. The best result now in this year. But last year I was started like finishing end of year like 28. Now already I reach Top 10. It's good ranking, yeah.
Like you ‑‑ every time if I play tennis, like my coach say, "You need to be like thinking in the futures." Because not ‑‑ if you lose or win today, you need to work for the next day, for the next tournament, for everything, for the like next year.
And this is more important because, like, I don't know. I just play. Coach say me what I need to do and what I like ‑‑ how I need to practice or what I need to feeling. That's it.