One of the ATP World Tour's indefatigable veterans, Nikolay Davydenko, retired this week. The 33-year-old Russian is the only pro to face Rafael Nadal five times or more and own a winning record against him (6-5).
Injuries began to pile up for Davydenko starting in 2010, and among the 21 tournament titles clinched in his career, he last claimed one in 2011. But his speed and spunk—hounding the likes of Rafa and Roger Federer for a couple seasons especially—will be remembered for years to come. The man known as "Kolya" and "Ironman" certainly made his mark on the game. (For more, here are Steve Tignor and Peter Bodo's thoughts on Davydenko, "the most human of tennis machines."
Delpo on Davydenko back in 2009: "He's very fast. He plays like PlayStation. He runs down everything." Sums it up. So long, Kolya!— rich rodriguez (@DTL_Rich) October 16, 2014
Davydenko retires. Will always remember how moved he was by the Rome crowd finding a way to chant his last name in '07. #atp— Steve Tignor (@SteveTignor) October 16, 2014
With Davydenko now retired... Active players with winning records versus #Nadal: Dustin Brown 1-0 Chris Guccione 1-0 Nick Kyrgios 1-0— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) October 16, 2014
Nikolay Davydenko retires. His relentless, on-the-rise groundstrokes made a lot of players behave like this: https://t.co/TFXNl9eUtu— Tom Perrotta (@TomPerrotta) October 16, 2014
My abiding memory of Davydenko's career will always be his explanation after an early loss. 'He played good but I played very very bad.'— Hannah Wilks (@newballsplease) October 16, 2014
@jonscott9 davydenko retiring :( one of my all time favorite players to watch. one of the best baseliners ever to play.— Jesse Miller (@jessejmiller) October 16, 2014
Sharapova on Davydenko: "Funny guy. I think not many people got a chance to know his personality, but he was a great character."— SI Tennis (@SI_Tennis) October 19, 2014
The Spin would be remiss to not mention a couple other timely and amusing tweets this week, from Maria Sharapova and Eugenie Bouchard at the WTA Finals and via Tomas Berdych, who learned that Ivan Lendl will not join his team as coach.
Let the Hunger Games begin pic.twitter.com/P9Gxm7VMQV— Eugenie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) October 18, 2014
I had a great time talking about tennis with Ivan Lendl today. Result? Ivan would like to help me, but he is too busy...— Tomáš Berdych (@tomasberdych) October 13, 2014
And the pic of the night...:) pic.twitter.com/x9t3ajMTb1— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) October 18, 2014
Meanwhile, Serena Williams arrived at her Singapore hotel for the WTA Finals showdown to find flowers intended for Ana Ivanovic in her space. She promptly Instagrammed the mix-up, tweeted it, and sent the flowers over to Ivanovic ... replete with added champagne. Stay classy, Serena.
Thoughts on Davydenko's departure from the pro game?
Got a tip or a point to make? Hit me on Twitter at @jonscott9.