Life according to Davydenko

10:13, January 22, 2010      

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Hot-shot Russian shows a lighter side at start of Open campaign

MELBOURNE: Tennis fans of the world are finally getting to know the real Nikolay Davydenko.

Usually publicity-shy, the Russian world No 6 has opened up in his press conferences at the Australian Open and unveiled a quirky sense of humor that is a little reminiscent of another former Russian star, Marat Safin.

After his first-round win, he talked of not wanting to have a huge public profile like Paris Hilton, his desire to invest rather than splurge money on wife Irina, and how he was inspired to improve by his own character on a Playstation game.

After advancing to the third round yesterday he again held court to talk about the best way to drink vodka, having children, life after tennis, his relationship with his wife-again, and why money is so important.

"Because we are Russian," he said with a smile when asked about his passion for money. "Russians always talking about money.

"And you know all Russians can get only cash, not like you guys, with credit cards also."

Davydenko said he needed to make as much money as possible during his playing days to provide for his children, although he is not sure he wants to have any yet.

"Yes, no, yes and no," he said when asked about his desire for children.

"Really, I would like to have kids now, like (Roger) Federer or (Lleyton) Hewitt, who have two.

"We are the same age but my wife doesn't want to stay at home and she travels with me now.

"I'm top 10 and she's scared about if I start with kids, I'll lose my hunger for tennis and go down.

"Maybe for me it's better to be with my wife at this time, no kids. If I'm out of top 10, maybe (kids) for sure."

Davydenko also offered some tips on one of Safin's favorite pastimes, drinking vodka.

"I don't drink so much because, you see, I'm skinny," he said. "I mix only, sometimes I drink clear vodka, sometimes mixed with Red Bull to give me a little boost in night club or disco.

"Because if I drink only vodka I go straight to sleep."

He said Irina was a great asset because she was able to identify flaws in his game that even he's not aware of, especially when he loses.

Which, thankfully for Davydenko as he enjoys an 11-match winning streak, is not often these days.

Because he's not quite ready to employ her as coach just yet.

"Maybe in the future."

Source: China Daily/Agencies
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