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Sports Then and Now

Nikolay Davydenko: Don’t Call Him a Dark Horse 0

Posted on January 18, 2010 by Rob York
Nikolay Davydenko could be a factor in the 2010 Australian Open.

Nikolay Davydenko could be a factor in the 2010 Australian Open.

Nikolay Davydenko has been regarded with a mixture of awe and sympathy for many years.

He announced himself as a factor in the 2005 Australian Open, after causing a minor, yet noticeable jolt to the draw by pounding Tim Henman and Guillermo Cañas in succession. In the quarters of that event, he faced Andy Roddick, who was then No. 2 in the world.

Even then it was hard not be amazed at his shots: Time and time again he spun in his first serves, rarely winning points outright with them, but forcing Roddick to cough up a ball landing at midcourt which the Russian could crush. And that’s what he did, sending a host of forehand winners past the American.

Victory was not to be his that day, as Roddick was holding serve easily, and his returns eventually started landing deep enough to prolong the rallies, which eventually contributed to mistakes on the Russian’s side. Though he lost in straight sets that day, Davydenko announced that he was one of the best pure ballstrikers in the world.

And that pure hitting allowed him to reach the top 10 that year, and stay in the top 10 ever since. In an era where the players are ever bigger and more imposing, Davydenko is 5’10” – the only man under 6 feet in the current top 10 – and perhaps generously listed at 154 pounds by the ATP Tour website. What’s more, his thinning tufts of blond hair have always reminded of a freshly hatched chick. Read the rest of this entry →

What Does 2010 Hold For Nikolay Davydenko? 1

Posted on December 01, 2009 by Rajat Jain
ATP World Tour Finals - Day Eight

Nikolay Davydenko ended 2009 with a victory in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

Nikolay Davydenko has certainly gained a new fan over the last couple of months. Not that a man with millions of dollars already safe in his bank account needed a new fan, but the way the tennis world has taken notice of the world No. 6 is a testimony of what he has achieved this season.

His path to success has been nicely documented everywhere. His ability to take the ball ridiculously early, almost as early as Andre Agassi used to do in the past, and certainly a bit better than Roger Federer does on occasions when he does not pull out those magical “Federer” shots. His short height allows him to create extremely acute angles on both sides of court, and it also enables him to move as fast as a cat laterally.

The recent addition of his much improved serve and a “belief” of belonging to the top group paid rich dividends as he was extremely satisfied after realizing that his name would forever be on the WTF trophy.

Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Randy White: The Manster
      September 4, 2020 | 5:14 pm

      In recognition of the start of football season, we have selected a two-time All-American from the University of Maryland who went on to earn a spot in both the College and Pro Football Hall of Fames as our Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month.

      Randy White actually came to the University of Maryland as a fullback, but as a sophomore new head coach Jerry Claiborne recognized that he had the skills to be a great defensive lineman and quickly moved him to defense.

      Read more »

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