Davydenko Steps Up

Standing ovation, game ball, whatever you want to call it – Huge props to Davydenko for stepping up and winning the year-end championships.  The biggest win of his career.  When I’m looking at the year-end final eight photograph, he’s always the least likely guy to even be in the photo and he’s the one you’d never pick to win it.  Time to remove the Rodney Dangerfield tag and call it like it is; the guy is a great player.

I felt good for him when he beat Fed on his 13th try…I know how it feels to be somebody’s pigeon, as I was 0 – 16 with Lendl…still makes me cringe.  Davy looks so shocked after the win, you know what’s cool, he barely even celebrates, he’s completely old school…just like a guy calmly handing the football to the referee after a touch down, it’s pretty refreshing to see such a solid winner. Looked like for the first time, Davydenko incorporated a few different strategies in his game; coming to the net, a couple of slices to go with his big offensive ground game.  At 28 he shows no signs of slowing down.

Side Notes and Trivia
He’s the third player to have never won a major to have won the year end championships…also interesting it was Alex Corretja, David Nalbandian and now Nikolay “the little machine” Davydenko all under 6’ tall.  I don’t know what this says about modern tennis, but it’s interesting to note and widens the path for future players.
What an amazing venue in London’s 02 Arena, drawing over 250K+ fans, the biggest one week attendance in tennis history.  Even though Andy Murray didn’t make the semi finals they still filled the seats for every session.  I really liked how they darkened the crowd and lit up the court, made for much more dramatic theatrical viewing from my sofa.
So Fed didn’t win it, but still capped an absolutely impressive year, finishing for the 7th time in a row in the top 2, never happening in the history of the rankings.  Only Jimmy Connors has finished 8 times in the top 2, but that was spread over several years, not back to back.  Also, for the third time in his career, got to the finals of all four majors and he is the only player since Rod Laver’s last grand slam year to accomplish this feat.  Another 28 year old who looks much younger than his years and well poised for yet another big year in 2010.
Very strange to see Rafael Nadal lose all 3 matches in straight sets.  He looked like a shadow of himself, he says he’s fully healthy, but I’d like to see the doctor’s note on that.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to believe, but something was off and he lacked confidence, which I didn’t even think was possible to imagine coming from this young gun.  He’ll have a chance to finish his year on a better note when the Czechs come to Spain for the Davis Cup Final on his home turf.
The men’s tour had a great year in 2009.  Three of the four finals in majors went the distance to five sets, we witnessed history with Fed winning the French and passing Pete Sampras and the emergence of a new star Juan Martin Del Potro.  Potentially, 2010 can be an even better year, the men’s game is deeper with more talent than I have ever seen and it has a great mix of youth and veterans.
Hot Topic put to rest:  Serena gets fined and put on secret probation for 2 years.  This was an odd decision.  I think it’s strange that with all the hype and empty threats, it’s an anticlimactic slap on the wrist.  I wasn’t for suspension mainly because that would benefit no one, but this was an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive and set some examples of good will and resolution.  I would have liked to see the powers that be have her donate money or time to a worthy charity.
Standing ovation, game ball, whatever you want to call it – Huge props to Davydenko for stepping up and winning the year-end championships.  The biggest win of his career.  When I’m looking at the year-end final eight photograph, he’s always the least likely guy to even be in the photo and he’s the one you’d never pick to win it.  Time to remove the Rodney Dangerfield tag and call it like it is; the guy is a great player.
I felt good for him when he beat Fed on his 13th try…I know how it feels to be somebody’s pigeon, as I was 0 – 16 with Lendl…still makes me cringe.  Davy looks so shocked after the win, you know what’s cool, he barely even celebrates, he’s completely old school…just like a guy calmly handing the football to the referee after a touch down, it’s pretty refreshing to see such a solid winner. Looked like for the first time, Davydenko incorporated a few different strategies in his game; coming to the net, a couple of slices to go with his big offensive ground game.  At 28 he shows no signs of slowing down.

Side notes and Trivia:
He’s the third player to have never won a major to have won the year end championships…also interesting it was Alex Corretja, David Nalbandian and now Nikolay “the little machine” Davydenko all under 6’ tall.  I don’t know what this says about modern tennis, but it’s interesting to note and widens the path for future players.

What an amazing venue in London’s 02 Arena, drawing over 250K+ fans, the biggest one week attendance in tennis history.  Even though Andy Murray didn’t make the semi finals they still filled the seats for every session.  I really liked how they darkened the crowd and lit up the court, made for much more dramatic theatrical viewing from my sofa.
So Fed didn’t win it, but still capped an absolutely impressive year, finishing for the 7th time in a row in the top 2, never happening in the history of the rankings.  Only Jimmy Connors has finished 8 times in the top 2, but that was spread over several years, not back to back.  Also, for the third time in his career, got to the finals of all four majors and he is the only player since Rod Laver’s last grand slam year to accomplish this feat.  Another 28 year old who looks much younger than his years and well poised for yet another big year in 2010.
Very strange to see Rafael Nadal lose all 3 matches in straight sets.  He looked like a shadow of himself, he says he’s fully healthy, but I’d like to see the doctor’s note on that.  Don’t get me wrong, I want to believe, but something was off and he lacked confidence, which I didn’t even think was possible to imagine coming from this young gun.  He’ll have a chance to finish his year on a better note when the Czechs come to Spain for the Davis Cup Final on his home turf.
The men’s tour had a great year in 2009.  Three of the four finals in majors went the distance to five sets, we witnessed history with Fed winning the French and passing Pete Sampras and the emergence of a new star Juan Martin Del Potro.  Potentially, 2010 can be an even better year, the men’s game is deeper with more talent than I have ever seen and it has a great mix of youth and veterans.
Hot Topic put to rest:  Serena gets fined and put on secret probation for 2 years.  This was an odd decision.  I think it’s strange that with all the hype and empty threats, it’s an anticlimactic slap on the wrist.  I wasn’t for suspension mainly because that would benefit no one, but this was an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive and set some examples of good will and resolution.  I would have liked to see the powers that be have her donate money or time to a worthy charity.

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2 Responses to “Davydenko Steps Up”

  1. Rob says:

    Might not be the right place but congratulations and good luck with the new site. Your reviews and insights into tournies make great reading and I love your books also. Lastly as a brit, a big thanks for what you did with your time with murray. If he ever does manage a slam I just hope he pops your name in there in his thanks along with his current team.

  2. Drizze says:

    This is so off topic. But I just finished reading Andre’s bio. It gave me even more appreciation for you and what you bring to Men’s Tennis. I remember writing you a question about an Agassi match when he was still playing and was shocked. Floored. When you actually wrote me back with your incredible insight. Thanks, Brad. One day we’ll toast to Bud Ice, though thankfully I don’t think they make that anymore.

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