Sei forte Maestro Nikolay
Sei forte Maestro Nikolay
da Londra, Giorgio Spalluto - foto Getty Images
“Sembra di giocare alla playstation contro di lui” l’amaro commento di Del Potro, al termine di un match dominato da un avversario quasi impeccabile, protagonista di un primo set ineccepibile, che lo vedrà commettere il primo errore gratuito solo nel 7° gioco, quando già avanti di un break (4-2), concede una palla break (a seguito del suo primo doppio fallo), annullandola con uno strepitoso dritto vincente.
Troppo indiavolato il ritmo di Davydenko per l’argentino, forse un po’ stanco dopo la maratona notturna della semifinale contro Soderling, in quello che era il suo 4° match concluso al terzo set. Nel 5° game del secondo set, Nikolay ha 2 opportunità di strappare il servizio all’avversario e porre una definitiva ipoteca sul match. Delpo è bravo ad annullare le 2 palle break con il servizio, e a procurarsi, a sua volta, 2 opportunità per strappare il servizio al russo, per la prima volta nel match. Prima un ace, poi un serve and volley consentono a Kolya di superare l’unico momento critico del match. Pochi istanti più tardi strapperà a zero il servizio al lungagnone di Tandil, chiudendo con un parziale di 12 punti a 2, impreziosito da 2 ace nell’ultimo game.
Davydenko è il primo russo a trionfare
nel Master – Kafelnikov si era fermato in finale nel 97, come lo stesso
Nikolay nel 2008 a Shanghai - ma non è il primo giocatore a vincerlo senza
essersi mai aggiudicato una prova dello Slam. Nel 1998 Corretja vinse ad
Hannover recuperando 2 set a Moya, nel 2005 Nalbandian vinse a Shanghai,
recuperando, a sua volta, 2 set di svantaggio a Federer. Nikolay è il primo
a vincere le Atp World Tour Finals senza essere mai giunto in finale a
livello major. E forse non è un caso che Davydenko sia riuscito ad ottenere
il successo più importante della sua carriera in un torneo che non prevede
alcun match al meglio dei 5 set. “Certo, se anche negli slam
si giocasse sui 3 set, potrei cominciare a vincerli anch’io. Vincere in
3 set è più facile. Uno come Del Potro può giocare allo stesso livello
per tutti e 5 i set. E’ così che ha battuto Roger a New York.”
L’unico aspetto su cui può e deve migliorare, è indubbiamente quello fisico, se è vero, come dice in conferenza stampa, che negli ultimi 2 anni si è limitato ad allenarsi un paio d'ore al giorno. Addirittura prima del torneo era andato a Mosca, e per 6 giorni non aveva toccato la racchetta. “Non ho fatto nulla. Poi mercoledì sono venuto a Londra e mi sono allenato fino a domenica, senza sapere in quali condizioni mi sarei presentato”.
Che il suo segreto sia stato quello di staccare completamente la spina? A differenza di altri giocatori che sono sembrati spenti, esausti, consunti da una stagione interminabile, il russo è sembrato migliorare giorno dopo giorno, match dopo match, lui che aveva iniziato il Master con una sconfitta contro Djokovic - per la 23° volta, sulle 36 edizioni disputate con la formula del round robin, a vincere il Master è un giocatore precedentemente sconfitto nel corso del torneo - al termine di uno dei più bei match del torneo.
“Adesso posso andare in vacanze alle Maldive e, con questi soldi, mi potrò permettere di comprare un appartamento a Mosca dove spero di diventare più famoso di quello che sono oggi”. Eh sì, perché al povero Nikolay gliene dicono sempre di tutti i colori: impiegato del catasto, contadino ucraino, squallidone, ragioniere pelato, per un linciaggio mediatico ingeneroso, per un ragazzo dall’enorme talento che si fonda sul suo strepitoso senso del'anticipo e sull’inesorabile istinto geometrico.
Nikolay racconta sempre in conferenza stampa, di come a Mosca, il mese scorso, ci rimase un po’ male nel vedere il pubblico schierato tutto per Marat Safin, alla sua ultima uscita nel torneo di casa, opposto proprio a Davydenko nel match di esordio. “Spero che adesso che si è ritirato, il pubblico voglia tifare anche per me”
Quattro anni di fila senza mai uscire dai primi 5 – il 2009 lo chiuderà al 6° posto anche perché ha saltato i primi 3 mesi della stagione - 3 Master 1000 vinti in carriera (per un totale di 19 tornei del circuito maggiore) 5 volte semifinalista nei tornei dello Slam… e adesso anche un Atp World Tour Finals.
Cos’altro dovrà fare, questo ragazzo, per ricevere le giuste attenzioni? Mettersi una parrucca?
© 2009 “Il Tennis Italiano” - Tutti i diritti riservati
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L'intervista a Davydenko
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: So many people today. Nice, it's a final.
Q. What is the best: the win against Federer or to win the championship?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: For sure, win championship here. It's like, you know, trophy, it's always something important, you know, in career for the tennis player, because now I have I think 19 title. You know, it's very good. I hope, you know, for the next season I have 20 title.
Something important for me because Federer I beat in semifinal. It's was great matches, was good feeling. Never beat him before. And beat him once here in semifinal.
But, you know, final's different.
Q. Could you talk us through today's memorable victory against Juan Martin Del Potro.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I was surprising was 6-3, 6-4, you know, 1 hour and 20 minutes. Like before I was play three-set matches, pretty tough, mostly two hours. Final, I don't know, maybe I was good concentration. I was surprising. I was coming in from first point hundred percent concentration. It was, I think, important for this match today.
Q. Now you've won the World Tour finals, you've beaten every top 10 player. Do you think of winning Grand Slams now?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: If Grand Slams coming best-of-three sets, yes. I enjoy, you know to winning Grand Slam, maybe every one, because in three sets winning matches is much easy.
I know Del Potro was strong. I beat him in tennis. For sure I was play much better. But I know Del Potro can play like first, second set, and third and fourth and fifth, you know, really have good power. That's was maybe he beat Federer in the final in US Open.
I don't know what I need to do for sure for the next season. I need to have very good physically preparation for the five-set matches in Australia. You need to run not like 2 hours, you need to run for 4 hours.
But I don't want to say how I want to think about for the next season. Just now enjoy this day.
Q. Nine days ago, I mentioned to you my feeling that your physical advantage was going to be very important for this tournament. You mentioned your mind, your concentration. How important do you think now your mind, your concentration, has been to help this win?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yes, I think all four, five matches, what I did here, first it's was very good concentration. Physically, I don't know what I can explain. Before this tournament, I go to Moscow. Six days I didn't hit. I didn't take racquet. I didn't practicing. I didn't did anything. And coming now Wednesday and practicing till Sunday, just three days, and feeling my tennis is great. But I don't know how I can be physically fit for this tournament.
But step by step, from first match against Djokovic, you know, maybe first match give me more chance, more confidence, maybe everything, tennis, physically, everything, give it to me winning maybe this tournament.
Q. What are you going to do with such a big trophy?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: No, trophy keep is still here in the tournament because if you see, like I was watching, till 2008, so many names there, like Djokovic, Federer, everyone, Sampras. In 2009, stay name Davydenko for, like, forever, for this trophy. I think it's amazing, you know.
I know, like, history of the Masters Cup, you know, my name be there. Something amazing for me.
Q. I got the sensation that this match was the one you suffered less, the one you had less pressure.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Not less pressure. Just really good concentration. Because before match, I was warming up, I was surprising. I was so tired. I was already start to scare about how I start to play match, how I can play against Del Potro. If, if I can win today game, set, I don't know. How Del Potro play. Everything in my mind is, you know, all these two hours before match thinking about what I need to do, how I can enjoy this match, or how much power I have for this match.
And really in beginning, first game, I won my first serve, I start to get really with good concentration, have positive, everything was good feeling. Yes, now I come back and try, you know, every game, you know, every points, fighting, and maybe I can win.
Q. Most of the tennis players nowadays are very big, very strong, very powerful. You have made a bit of a point today for the smaller tennis player, maybe one that is not regarded as a giant. Do you think that for people out there watching tennis it's good you can be any size and still be a champion?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: I don't know. But I really was surprising. You see I'm smaller because I'm losing every day, like, one kilo. I'm already like 68.
Yeah, but maybe. Maybe. It's like, if you see, tennis, 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 don't know if Oliver Rochus, the smallest guy on the tour, can reach this level. But for sure I think everyone can be No. 1. Doesn't matter how you tall or how you big or how you strong.
Q. For many years you have told us at the end of each year, Maybe next year I'll play fewer tournaments. You never did it. This year you played fewer tournaments because of a injury. Don't you think in order to play better next year you should play fewer tournaments than before?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Oh, no. Oh, no. No, no, no. It's because if I start to play beginning many tournaments, and I know how many points I did before already, you know, that's was just see how is my ranking. If I can reach for the next year in London already in first half year. Because it's also important.
I didn't play Australia. I didn't play America tournaments. For sure, I want to play very well there and make points because it's very important for us, for the players, you know, always be in good position, you know, be in top eight guys. You know, we feeling much more strong and confidence.
Less tournaments, I don't know. It's also physically how strong, if you no injury, you healed, why not? I really enjoy to play all those tournament. If I win, enjoy more.
Q. You are the first Russian to win the Masters. Kafelnikov was unable. Safin didn't do it. They won slams. You haven't won a slam. Normally all the winners of the Masters win slams. How important is it for you, also for Russia, to build up more your image? And before the tournament, the bookmakers that you don't like, were playing 12-1 your win. What is your reaction to that? They didn't expect you to win.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Bad luck, you know. I think I put money of me before this tournament, make more money, double, like prize money.
Yes, I hope after this tournament I coming more famous in Russia. For me it's really important. I know always I was disappointing really, like in Moscow I play against Marat. Mostly, like 80%, support Safin this match what I play this year. For sure is last tournament for him. But I saw how many people like him, how support him, how enjoy, you know, how Marat play.
For me it's really a little bit disappointment, really. I hope now Marat is finished, now is no more famous in Russia. And, yeah, I hope for the next, like in the futures, I be famous for Russia and everybody support me.
Q. Just to explain to people at home what it means to win something like this, what is behind a result like this. Can you tell us something about practice, how much you do to get to this level, and if you do something special for the return, because your return is really incredible.
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Yeah, but I don't want to know coaching press, everyone here, how much I practice, how much I'm returning.
Returning is maybe talent, because practicing returning is not so easy really. It's really how you look on the ball, how fast going is ball. It's very important.
Practicing. Last couple year, I didn't practice so much. Maybe two hours a day, just tennis. Physically, not so many also.
Like I know one guy tell me, Arsenal here practicing one hour a day, then go home. Take lunch and go home. Football player. I was, you know, enjoy.
How is these guys can running 90 minutes in the stadium just practicing one hour a day? That's was I was thinking.
Yes, I practice one hour a day, then no injury, maybe enjoy much more, play better.
Q. With your championship, you win a lot of money. What will you do? Maldives? Shopping for your wife?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Maldives, yes. I spend a lot of money in Maldives. But still keep money. I want to buy apartment still. I didn't buy apartment in Moscow. Still expensive. I wait. Maybe start to be cheaper. But this is one million is not enough. I don't know. Maybe this million give me chance to buy for next year apartment in Moscow.
Q. You spoke about being famous in Russia. In your week in London, how much have you been recognized when you go out for dinner?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Not so much because I don't go, anyway, from hotel. Just behind street, go some Italian, Japanese. Stay in Japanese restaurant in hotel. I don't really go.
Q. How many autographs have you signed in the last week?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: Hmm, not once. Really. Because maybe everybody concentration Nadal and Federer. Everybody looking this way, not on me.
But it's good. I really enjoy. I don't want to, you know, be so much famous like these guys. Because it's really difficult, you know, between Federer and me. I know he always try to have different hotel, you know, quiet, to spend time with family. He's for sure famous winning Wimbledon. Everybody knows him.
But maybe now after London here, I have also little bit, little bit, just small part of famous here in London. I would like.
Q. You've had a fantastic week. Have you enjoyed playing at the O2 and what would it mean for you to come back here and defend your title?
NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO: First, it's like six year in a row coming in top eight. I don't know if I can get it. It's really interesting next year for me because winning last tournament this year, it's something amazing.
For sure, for sure I know for five years be in London now. It's good, you know, quiet, coming, just stay in Europe, just one hour fly coming here in good preparation. It's also great.
I know was good stadium, was really good. Everything was perfect. We have Queen's Club for practicing also. For sure we enjoy next year here in London. I hope organization be the same or much better.
L'intervista a Del Potro
Q. Can you give us your thoughts on today's final.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, the final of the year, the season is over. This tournament has a great champion, like Nikolay. He work hard for beat every players here this week.
So maybe I have to improve a little bit the little things. But he's play much better than me, and that's it.
Q. How did you feel physically today? Would you prefer to play the final in the evening?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Yeah, of course. But that's the rule of the game, you know. I had the day off after Federer for the semis, and Nikolay plays Friday to Saturday. So it's difference.
But he play an unbelievable tennis. He beat me in good way.
Q. At what time did you go to bed yesterday evening?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Like 3.
Q. You're very close now to being No. 4 in the rankings. What do you expect of yourself in the next couple months of next year?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, I have to keep working. I have many things to improve: my serve, my forehand. My goal is I'm gonna feel better with this part of the game so I can be in better position.
But I have very good players fighting with me, like Murray, Djokovic, Federer, Nadal. So I know the way to work.
Q. Even though you've had a great year, there was a foot fault, but that was not key? Your manner on the court, it's clear that you're a gentleman. It was important, because you lost the first serve.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Of course, was very important. After that foot fault, then he broke me, the serve, he take the way of the match.
But I don't know if I did or not. But last night against Soderling or against Federer happens the same, I think the same person. But, I don't know, maybe it was my fault.
Q. Have you ever been foot faulted and suffered a baby crying on court in the same final?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: No. But maybe he's boring watching our match (laughter).
Q. Say something about Davydenko's qualities. We don't know him so well like you know him. Maybe you can describe for us how strong is he.
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Oh, he's very strong. I never beat him in hard court or indoors. He's very fast. He play like PlayStation. You know, he run to everywhere. Is very difficult to make winners.
But I think is a great champion. Nobody knows how can we beat him, so...
Q. What are your feelings looking back on the year that you've had?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: Well, at this moment it's tough to say what I feel. But maybe when I arrive in Argentina, I will start to feel better, more relaxed. I will have vacations. The season was so hard. I need time off to recovery.
Q. At the completion of this tournament, would you say that you are disappointed having lost in the final or are you happy having reached the final?
JUAN MARTIN DEL POTRO: If I be in the final, I want to win. But here, all the players are very good. Maybe names like Federer, Djokovic or Nadal, Murray, everybody thinks they will be in the final. But doesn't happen.
So I did a good tournament anyway.