There are players who, just for the great career they have had and how much they made us enjoy, deserve a farewell according to the effort given. I think of David Ferrer and that goodbye at the Mutua Madrid Open and I can’t think of a better way to end a sublime career. However, not everyone has been able to hang the racket with dignity. Nikolay Davydenko, once world number 3, played his last professional meeting six seasons ago, in the first round of Roland Garros against a Robin Haase who had no mercy on the Russian’s physical condition. They were many years dragging pain, too many for a cyborg marked by a wrist operation since 2010. In an interview for Sport expressNikolay recounted how his last moments were as a professional tennis player.
– Wrist injury in 2010
“It wasn’t just an injury, it was because I broke my wrist. It happened to me while playing in Rotterdam against Robin Soderling, I fell to the ground and hit my hand hard, I thought it would be a simple bruise, even after they did an MRI they didn’t find anything for me. I went to play in Dubai the following week, that’s where it started to hurt. Despite this I played the tournament in pain. Later I went to do the tour of the United States, I thought the pain would pass, but it was strange that the bruise stayed there for so long. “
– Consequences in subsequent tournaments
“I started the Indian Wells box winning the first match, another movie performance to hide the pain I felt. After that I went to see the doctor for a new review, where they did an x-ray and the reality came out: I had a fracture. How could it be? Why didn’t they see my invoice right away? I was told that perhaps the inflammation was not visible at first, so I was able to compete with the fracture the following month. If I had known from the beginning, obviously, I would not have gone to play neither Dubai, nor Indian Wells ”.
– A new reality
“The wound healed, but the wrist never responded as before. He became much weaker, my two-handed backhand was severely damaged. Even so, I kept hitting it with two hands, it was too late to try the reverse with one hand, although some specialists recommended it to me. At that time I was in optimal shape, in 2010 I felt I was able to play even better than before, but the injury took everything ahead. After that I fell completely. “
– Despite everything, he continued his career until 2014
“I didn’t manage to play as I wanted, but I tried. I forced myself, I thought that maybe at some point I could be back. After all, he had already been in the top ten, even in the top five, so why shouldn’t he be able to return to that place? But the physical problem ended up affecting me also psychologically. I tried it in 2011, then in 2012, I felt that I could still give war against the best, but in the end you realize that all that effort, all that pressure I put on it, did not end up having a reward. On the contrary, I started to lose to players below the top70 or top80 ”.
– His life after retirement
“I have not done anything special during these years. After hanging up my racket in 2014 I dedicated myself completely to my children. I took them to kindergarten, I played with them, we went for a walk … I forgot about tennis. It is difficult to feel comfortable once you finish your career, I tried not to hold a racket in my hands, the goal was to forget about that world. So six months passed, then a year, at that point there were still days that I woke up thinking that I was in the middle of a tournament. But no, I was at home, with my family. That was all”.