20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer became one of the most dominant players in the first decade of 2000 stamping his authority at various tournaments across surfaces. While many challengers rose to take down the Swiss Maestro, hardly a few could take out one or two lucky wins against him as he looked undefeated otherwise.
One such player to come short against Federer was former World No. 3 and 2009 ATP Finals winner Nikolay Davydenko who retired in 2014 after a career of 15 years where he won 21 career titles from 28 finals including 3 ATP Masters titles maintaining a 100% win record in the highest tier of the ATP Tour.
Roger Federer leads Nikolay Davydenko 19-2 in head-to-head
Federer and Danydenko met for the first time in the 2nd round of the 2002 Milan Indoors and it was the start of the 12-match winning streak that Roger had over the Russian before Nikolay registered his first win against the Swiss. Playing in the semis of the 2009 ATP Finals, Davydenko won the match on his way to claiming the Year-End Championships and defeated Roger in their next meeting as well, in the semi-finals of the 2010 Qatar Open winning the title later beating Rafael Nadal in the finals. These were the only two wins as Roger then won the next 7 matches before Nikolay retired.
“So, Federer was my toughest opponent. Why? Because his forehand was extremely fast and his serve was very accurate, I could not gain any sort of control against him. I had so many opportunities against Federer, but he was always a much better player near the end of the sets. I had set points, I made it into the tiebreaks, but then I was always losing.
“Not in London. That time, I felt like it was my time to beat him, and I got lucky a bit as well. My mentality changed after that, so I beat him easily in Doha in our next match as well. That time, I felt like I could beat him, it is no secret that I had a problem mentally when facing Federer,” said Davydenko in his recent interview with Claytennis.
Follow our page FirstSportz Tennis for the latest updates