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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Back to the drawing board for frustrated Davydenko

Back to the drawing board for frustrated Davydenko

November 17, 2008 10:00 IST

Russian world number five Nikolay Davydenko believes he needs to adjust his game and find something extra if he is to challenge the world's top players next season.

The 27-year-old, who crashed to a 6-1 7-5 defeat to world number three Novak Djokovic in the Masters Cup final on Sunday, is one of the most consistent players on the ATP Tour but is not satisfied with a top five finish for the fourth straight year.

"Maybe I need to change something," he said. "I don't know really. I don't know now what I need to change, but we'll see. I want to be much better, not to be number five, number four, number three, number six, seven, eight.

"But you need something to beat the top guys. In the future I'll try to find this key to beat these guys."

Davydenko is one of the hardest working players in tennis and this week's Masters Cup was the 22nd tour event he played this year, not to mention three Davis Cup ties and the Olympics.

But apart from his Miami Masters triumph, where he beat world number one Rafael Nadal in the final, Davydenko's other two titles this year came at relatively minor tournaments in Austria and Poland

"It's not only in small tournaments," he said. "It's important in grand slams because there are a lot of points available. If you do well there, your ranking gets better and you finish in the best position."

Davydenko, who has an 0-12 career record against world number two Roger Federer, said he needed to work on his volleying but thought technical improvement might not be the entire solution.

"I'm really tired of practice," he said. "Maybe I could sign up for something to give me some power, I don't know, to give me the feeling I can beat everyone. It's also mental.

"We practise every day," he added. "Everybody's practising, but only one guy is number one in the world."

Nick Mulvenney
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