Davydenko profile may rise after year-end success (News Feature)
By Bill Scott Nov 30, 2009, 7:38 GMT
London - After years of near-anonymous labour in the top end of the tennis trenches, Nikolay Davydenko may just be ready to raise his low profile after winning the weekend title at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals.
The Russian, who can pass without notice anywhere save on a tennis court, feels that his 6-3, 6-4 defeat of US Open champion Juan Del Potro may just help him become a bit better known - especially at home.
But as it is, the world number six did not draw a crowd out and about in London last week at the eight-man season wrapup.
Queried about any autographs he might have signed, he reflected: 'Hmm, not once. Maybe everybody was concentrating on Nadal and Federer. People didn't look at me.'
But the 28-year-old is not bothered. 'I don't want to be so much famous like these guys. Because it's really difficult.
'It's different between Federer and me. He always tries to have different hotel, quiet, to spend time with family. He's for sure famous for winning Wimbledon. Everybody knows him.
'But maybe now after London here, I have also little bit, just a small part of fame. I'd like that.'
But it's home in Moscow where has hopes for a bigger public footprint. And it took a first-round loss this autumn in Moscow against wildly popular compatriot Marat Safin to drive home the point.
'I hope after this tournament I become more famous in Russia, for me it's really important.
'It was disappointing when I played against Marat. Mostly, like 80 per cent supported Safin in this match. I saw how many people like him, how they supported him, enjoying how Marat plays.
'For me, it's really a little bit disappointment, really. I hope now Marat is finished, now is no more famous in Russia.
'I hope in the future, I can be famous for Russia and everybody will support me.'
Davydenko is considering putting his 1.5-million-dollar prize packet to use, with an immediate holiday with wife Irina at their preferred holiday destination, the Maldives, and with a possible future purchase of a flat in pricey Moscow.
'I spend a lot of money in the Maldives, but I will still have some left over.
'I want to buy an apartment, we don't have one in Moscow. They are still expensive. I'll wait, maybe they'll start to be cheaper.
'This one million is not enough but it could give me chance to buy for next year an apartment.'
After missing the Australian Open in January due to injury, Davydenko's one month of an off-season will be devoted to preparing for the first Grand Slam date of 2010.
'I don't know what I need to do for sure for the next season but I need to have very good physical preparation for the five-set matches in Australia. You don't need to run for two hours, you need to run for four hours.
'But I don't want think about the next season, I just will now enjoy this day.'