Tennis superstar Roger Federer has dominated the sport for so long that he has the upper hand in the head-to-head against almost every he has faced in his career. One such player is Nikolay Davydenko, who lost 17 times in their 19 meetings.
In a recent interview with CLAY, the long-retired Davydenko expressed his thoughts on when the Swiss might call it a day himself. The Russian claimed that Federer's impending return to action at Basel this year could be his final act on the tennis court.
"I think he is playing in Basel to finish his carrer there. That's my opinion," Davydenko said.
Davydenko also spoke about the unique challenge Federer posed whenever the two went up against each other.
"Federer was my toughest opponent. Why? Because his forehand was extremely fast and his serve was very accurate, I could not gain any sort of control against him," Davydenko said.
The former World No. 3 went on to recall the two wins he had over Federer, with the first one coming in the semifinals of the 2009 ATP Finals in London.
"I had so many opportunities against Federer, but he was always a much better player near the end of the sets," Davydenko said. "I had set points, I made it into the tiebreaks, but then i was always losing. Not in London. That time, I felt like it was my time to beat him, and I got lucky a bit as well."
It is no secret that I had a problem mentally when facing Roger Federer: Nikolay Davydenko
Nikolay Davydenko also spoke about how the win against Roger Federer in 2009 gave him the mental boost to beat the 20-time Grand Slam champion again. He admitted to having struggled mentally whenever he went up against Federer.
"My mentality changed after that, so I beat him easily in Doha in our next match as well," Davydenko said. "That time, I felt like I could beat him, it is no secret that I had a problem mentally when facing Federer."
Davydenko's two wins against the Swiss came in back-to-back meetings, with the second coming in the semifinals of the 2010 Qatar Open in Doha.
The pair met at Grand Slams on five occasions, with the 20-time Grand Slam champion winning all five. Federer dropped a grand total of 10 sets in 21 matches against Davydenko, underscoring his incredible dominance in the rivalry.