DUBAI // A top 10 player for five consecutive years in the last decade, Nikolay Davydenko is looking to find some consistency in his game, but concedes he is too old to worry about the rankings.
The 31-year-old Russian, a former world No 3 who is languishing at world No 46 after dropping out of the top 10 in 2010, turned back the clock yesterday, knocking out world No 9 Janko Tipsarevic 6-0, 7-5 in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
"I would like to say I'm now in the top 20," Davydenko said. "[But] I am really too old to think about my level. I just want to find some consistency and I would like to beat the top guys."
The problem, according to Davydenko, is consistency.
"One day I play good. Next day I come and I play like 300 year old," he said. "I just I don't know.
"Sometimes I feel good, and sometimes like after one hour I'm so tired and just start to think why maybe I'm so old."
Against Tipsarevic, though, he did not feel any such doubts, saving seven break points in the opening game, which lasted 13 minutes. Seventeen minutes later, the Russian was up 2-0, converting his sixth break point.
"He [Tipsarevic] didn't [have] control all set," Davydenko said. "That's was maybe why I won 6-0, because if you see the first two games were half an hour. I was really tired.
"After two games I was thinking 'the match just started and I'm already tired'.
"We played a long, long time, but the rallies were two, three balls and that's it. We didn't do anything, like [the] match was not unbelievable."
Tipsarevic looked a lot better in second set and had raced to a 4-1 lead with breaks in the third and fifth, but Davydenko fought back with three consecutive breaks.
His victory earned the Russian a second-round clash with Victor Hanescu, who moved through after Bernard Tomic, from Australia, was forced to withdraw from their first round clash due to illness.
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