For Davydenko, it’s all about performance

January 5th, 2009 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 5 (IANS) For Nikolay Davydenko, it is all about performing well and not so much garnering points on the ATP tour as the Ukrainian top seed and World No.5 sets his sights on winning the Chennai Open this week.Speaking to the media on arrival here Monday, Davydenko said that his focus for 2009 was on delivering results that in turn would take care of the points.

“It is really difficult to say something as to what is going to happen in 2009. Last season, winning Miami (Sony Ericsson Open) and Shanghai (final) gave me big points to finish in top five. For this year, I do not need same points from Grand Slams. If I make good results, I gain valuable points this season,” said the 27-year-old who is here on his second visit in seven years.

Davydenko enjoyed a fair amount of success in 2008, notably in Miami where he beat No.6 Andy Roddick in the semi-finals and No.2 Rafael Nadal in the final. He went on to win two more titles (Warsaw and Poertschach) before losing to Novak Djokovic in the final of the Shanghai Masters Cup.

Davydenko last played in Chennai Open in 2001 when he lost in the first round to fourth seeded Byron Black after coming through the qualifying competition.

After skipping Chennai Open in the following years, Davydenko thought he needed a change of scene, having started his season in Doha during the period.

“From 2002, every year I played in Doha. Now I tried to change something. I decided to come to Chennai because I had won in Adelaide also. I do not want to spend one month in Australia,” Davydenko.

He conceded that coming off the winter break, the first tournament was always a difficult proposition but he would not like to put himself under pressure.

“You know for me it is always difficult starting match in first round. Because starting new season, one is not so much confident and it is tough from the beginning.

“I am not under any pressure. I played many tournaments last year and also lost few first round matches. If I have pressure every week, I am going to go crazy. I do not want to think about how I play,” he said.

Davydenko, who has been in the top-5 bracket for four consecutive years, felt that many young players are coming up through the ranks to challenge the established stars like Nadal and Roger Federer, and as such, it is difficult to defend the top slots.

“The top four guys are finishing all Grand Slams coming to semi-final and final and also winning a few tournaments. There are also few small tournaments which are good for gaining lot of ranking points. If I win Chennai and few more tournaments it is enough for me to get good ranking positions,” he said.

Davydenko feels that the sport is changing as more new players are coming in.

“(Novak) Djokovic has started playing much better after winning Australian Open and (Andy) Murray was in the final of US Open. (Jo-Wilfred) Tsonga is also coming on well. It is a case of more younger players playing better tennis and trying to beat both Federer and Nadal. I know I have not beaten Federer but did beat Nadal a few times. If I play Nadal again, I do not think I would lose to him. Every week is different tennis and different situations. Some guys are skipping one tournament and play in another next week. You do not know what is happening,” he said.

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