davydenko destroys nadal

Posted on April 6, 2008


Spain continues to be denied the chance of having its players take home the Sony Ericsson Open championship trophy, despite having had three finalists making a play for it — Sergi Bruguera in 1997, Carlos Moya in 2003, and Rafael Nadal this year.

Nadal again came up short in his second final appearance in Miami today. In 2005, he lost in a five-setter to Roger Federer. Today, he was blown out of the water by Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko in just two sets.

It is one-for-one in Russia’s case, as Davydenko is the first Russian man to make the final and went all the way, destroying Nadal 6-4, 6-2 in one and a half hours. Perhaps Nadal’s consolation would be that he would be leaving the US and heading back to Europe, where the start of the clay court season awaits.

US Presswire photo

US Presswire photo

Continuing this Miami storyline of the law of averages coming up to haunt the players who had held the upper hand in previous match-ups, Davydenko again broke through to beat Nadal, whom he had never defeated in two previous meetings.

Davydenko’s winning streak against previous opponents he had not managed to beat started with his snapping of a five-game loss record to Andy Roddick, when he defeated the American easily [7-6 (5), 6-2] en route to today’s final.

It is the Russian’s second Masters Series title, with the first won in 2006 in Paris.

And the amazing thing is, he was only playing with one racket throughout the tournament, having just switched to a new one with a special 18 main string configuration.

“I have only one racket,” Davydenko said. “Surprising I didn’t break a string. Warm up and play match, warm up and play match, every match, and I finish with the racket.

“I’m going to keep forever this racket.”

Perhaps the usually low-profile Davydenko is too modest. It was his impressive serves and even more amazing returns that sealed the title for him. He was able to answer anything Nadal threw at him but Nadal was also playing too defensively to overcome Davydenko’s clever shot placements or challenges at the net.

This unexpected win by Davydenko will hopefully go some ways towards getting him out of the funk he had been playing under since the allegations of his involvement in a match-fixing scandal broke last year, along with the ATP’s investigations.

Perhaps the quiet Russian will finally come into his own now, after having been a proverbial bridesmaid in the men’s tennis game.

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