Player Assessment #4 & #3

#4 Nikolay Davydenko
I have no problem with Davydenko. He’s a devoted and great player. I just think that the two guys behind him are just a little better. But he gets his points by working harder than anyone else and playing every tournament he can.

Davydenko has been in the top 10 since May 2005. That shows stability, but not enought to be the best. He still gets most wins in tournaments where he is top seed and gets most points on playing well at a lot of these. This year he has done a good job in the GS arena which probably is his goal. He got some good wins in AO, but ran into Haas in the QF where he stumbled to a energetic German at a 2-1 lead.
Rotterdam was also a good performance, but once again it prooves he just isn’t good enough against the really good guys. Lost to Ljubicic in the SF, which he probably shoud’ve won, considering that he was 3 points away from the match. IW and Miami AMS were a little dissapointing, but Murray and Delic found ways to take him down in straight sets.
Clay season was not impressive, but Rome and Roland Garros stood out quite nicely.
He reached the semis in Rome and played one of his best matches against Nadal. He fought off several match points and won the second set tie-break. Unfortunately Nadal took the last one.

Davydenko had a great tournament in Paris. Won all matches in straight sets with the exception of Nalbandian (of course). He even showed Canas a thing or two about clay in the QF. Federer made sure Davydenko stopped at the semis but had to fight in two breakers before sending him home.

Wimbledon was a positive change for him. Reached the 4th round, which was his best performance there. Then the rest of the season was one long big miserable soap opera. The betting-scandal was a foggy matter which I never understood what the conclusion was. He lost three straight 1st rounds and got to 2nd round in Poland. Okay, not the best timing if he actually is innocent. With all of this, he managed to end the season on a high note, with QF in Montreal, SF in Cincy and SF in US Open.

The problem is, #4 did not win one tournament before finally catching a break in Moscow in October. He certainly got enought points to reach Shanghai, but a lot of the points came from solid performances at the all GS. Yeah even Wimbledon!
Overall, Davydenko is still a good top 10 player and has been for quite some time and probably will be for another year. That being said, he really needs to start winning bigger tournaments than Moscow and Sopot. In the Federer-era Grand Slams are impossible, but Roger isn’t playing and winning all the Masters.

Ranking: 3 to 4 (bottom was 5!!)
Titles: 1
W-L: 53-31 (63.1%… not good not good!)
Grade: C+

#3 Novak Djokovic
Say who? Anyone know where this guy was Nov. 2005? #83!!! Fall of 2006, Djokovic started playing some great tennis, but even then there were no indications that he would go into 2007 and dominate several tournaments and beat the 3 best players in the world in 3 days!
He got off to a good start winning in Adelaide, only losing one set.
Aussie Open would have been a break-through if he’d have a higher seeding. He ran into Federer just a little to early and ONLY got to R16. From the end of February, Djokovic was the third best player in the world. No… not officially but still third best.
SF in Rotterdam, QF in Dubai losing to Federer once again. Then came the FINAL in Indian Wells where he won every match in straight sets, but couldn’t get Nadal who also was on a great run. He destroyed Ferrer and Murray back-to-back in 2, 3, and 4. Simply incredible
In Miami it was his turn to lift the nasty Masters trophy. Beating Nadal 6-3, 6-4, Andy Murray 6-1, 6-0, AND the Federer-killer Canas in the final 6-3, 6-2, 6-4!!!
That must have been Djokovic’s best memory from 2007…right?

Clay was not the same, but won Estoril and got to QF in both Rome and Hamburg before going to Paris and going all the way to the SF.
Queen’s Club did not really give him much, but showed that he is an all-surface player reaching yet another SF after getting serious match time in several marathon matches.
After some rust in Umag, the rest of the summer/fall was one big celebration for the young Serb. Won AMS Canada, final in USO, won Vienna, SF in Madrid and met Nalbandian; enough said there…. In words, this shows what a great potential Djokovic is to become the next great player. If he hurries up he can pass Federer’s records due to his young age. Federer was nowhere near this level at age 20. He had 1380 points this time last year, now he has 4470. Clearly the player who has grown the most in 2007. Can’t wait to see if he can dethrone Nadal/Federer from their GS seats.

Ranking: 16 to 3, up up up
Titles: 5 !!
W-L: 68-19 (78.2%)!!
Grade: A


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