Nikolay Davydenko

  • Full name Nikolay Vladimirovich Davydenko
  • Nickname Iron Man
  • Birth date June 2, 1981
  • Birth place Sieverodonetsk
  • Current age 38 years 139 days
  • Height 5 ft 10 in
  • Style Flat, powerful strokes from the baseline.
Nikolay Davydenko clinches the Qatar International title

Possibly the biggest compliment one can pay to Nikolay Davydenko is to acknowledge that he is probably the one man on the ATP Tour that nobody wants to face. As Juan Del Potro once admitted: "It's very difficult to make winners. Nobody knows how we can beat him."

Incredibly flat and strong from the baseline, Davydenko lives right up to his 'Machine' and 'Iron Man' monikers, only failing to convert his aggressive style into Grand Slams due to a non-threatening serve and questionable mental toughness at vital moments.

Born in the Soviet Union, Davydenko grew up admiring the towering presence of Ivan Lendl, later transporting his own developing passion for tennis to Germany in order to gain professional coaching.

A professional debut and Russian citizenship were both achieved at the age of 18, but it would not be until 2001 that Davydenko alerted the tennis world to his talents, taking the great Pat Rafter to four sets in his Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open.

Two years later Australia proved an inspiring terrain again as the Russian lifted his first ATP Tour title in Adelaide, rocketing him into the top 50 for the first time. Titles continued to flow but Davydenko's Grand Slam record was less impressive, waiting until 2005 to reach his first major quarter-final - once again on Australian territory.

A maiden semi-final at Roland Garros followed, marking the furthest Davydenko has ever gone in Grand Slam competition (four times he has reached semi-finals), although he was defeated on this occasion by Mariano Puerta - who was later banned for doping. Regardless of the controversy, Davydenko had done enough to become Russia's number one, and the world No 5.

As a leader of men, Davydenko led Russia to Davis Cup victory in 2006 but, while his career titles tally rose to 11, Roger Federer in particular continued to stand in the way of Grand Slam success.

Unforgettably, there was a period in his career when critics, players and umpires alike accused Davydenko of beating himself. First he stood accused of match-fixing after sacrificing a one-set lead to Vassallo Arguello, a match that saw $7 million wagered on Arguello.

Cleared of one scandal, Davydenko then saw his name muddied again when he was given a code violation for failing to give his best effort against Marin Cilic. A week later the same thing would happen again when playing Marcos Baghdatis, raising serious question marks over Davydenko's integrity.

Full credit to the Russian though, he recovered his reputation to produce arguably his best year of tennis in 2009, winning a handful of titles - including the prized year-ending ATP World Tour Finals at the o2 Arena.

All that remains is for Iron Man to find that elusive Grand Slam.

Career high Winning the ATP World Tour Finals against Juan Del Potro. Considered by many to be the fifth Major, Davydenko finally recorded a landmark triumph in his career.

Career low Becoming embroiled in a match-fixing scandal, of which he was later cleared after a lengthy investigation.

Quotes "It's enough for me that Russian people know me. French people also know me. In America, I need to do something good, like play great in a Grand Slam or prove (myself) in a tournament on TV. Tennis is not important in America like it is in Europe."

"This tournament has a great champion. He worked hard to beat every player here this week. He played much better than me, and that's it. He played unbelievable tennis. He's very fast. He played like PlayStation - he ran everywhere. It's very difficult to make winners. Nobody knows how we can beat him." Del Potro after losing the ATP World Tour Finals to Davydenko

Trivia Davydenko is a recognised fan of rock group Guns 'n' Roses.


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Mar 21, 2012

Nikolay Davydenko arches his back into a serve

Aug 24, 2011

Nikolay Davydenko returns a shot

Aug 24, 2011

Nikolay Davydenko returns a shot to Sergiy Stakhovsky

May 1, 2011

Nikolay Davydenko hugs his new prize

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