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The Last Time... Nikolay Davydenko

US Open 2008

Irina and Nikolay DavydenkoGetty ImagesNikolay and Irina Davydenko were married in 2006.

Spend just a little time with Nikolay Davydenko and you'll quickly discover that the steely Russian has a quick wit and a great sense of humor.

I hired a tennis court?
During the indoor season. I normally pay to practice, sometimes 10 euros per hour if I practice at home in Cologne, Germany. Sometimes I still have to buy balls, too. Sometimes I will buy a box.

I had something weird happen in a media conference?
At the Davis Cup tie in Moscow this year, one reporter was using his cell phone to record my comments in a post-match press conference. It was up there on the table with all the other recorders. Then, as I was talking the phone started to ring. I answered it and said "Sorry, he's busy now. He's talking to Davydenko."

I played a competitive sport other than tennis?
Basketball and soccer against a school team, probably 15 years ago when I was a kid.

I was mistaken for another player?
Here in Cincinnati some kids called me Ljubicic and then others said, "No, that's Davydenko." Maybe I looked like Ljubicic with no hair.

Being recognized helped me?
I had a flight to Moscow from Germany. I go to economy plus and one of the pilots recognized me and he said for me to go to the business class. That was nice.

I broke a string in a match?
I think it happened this year or last year. I like to play many games with one racquet – I don't want to change. Sometimes I even win the point with a broken string.

I visited a country for the first time?
There is so much travel, it's hard to remember. But it must have been India. I played Chennai this year before the Australian Open. I really only saw the tennis courts and the hotel. I have never been to Japan.

I played a practical joke in the locker room?
It's happening every day with players like Tursunov or Djokovic. Talking about BS.

I asked someone for their autograph?
If I meet someone special like a movie star I will make a picture, but I don't really care about an autograph.

I forgot something important?
I always forget birthdays. My mother will call me and say "You forgot to celebrate your father's birthday," and my father will call and say "You forgot to call your mother for her birthday." Sometimes it's hard to keep track of what day it is.

I lost something important?
I lost my video camera, most likely in the Marseille airport. I don't how it was possible. Camera was with me when I left Marseille and when I got to Rotterdam camera was not with me.

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