In his seventh visit to Hamburg, Nikolay Davydenko triumphed over Paul-Henri Mathieu to win the German Open title, 6-4 6-2, in less than an hour and half. The Russian dropped only one set on his way to the title, his first for this year. His last best result at Hamburg was 2005 semi-finals, when he lost to eventual champion Roger Federer.
With this victory, Davydenko ends his 13 month title drought and will get back inside the top ten on Monday. He had fallen out of top 10 in April, his first time in about four years, because he had to withdraw from Australian Open, Indian Wells, and Miami Masters Series, due to a left heel injury.
As a winner, Davydenko earned € 228,000 in prize money and 500 points for the ATP world ranking, and Mathieu, as a runner-up, received € 104,000 and 300 points.
With an early break, Mathieu led 3-1 in the first set, but Davydenko broke the French man twice right away and cruised to win four straight games. Mathieu dd not get another break opportunity, and Davydenko served out the set in his first opportunity with a backhand shot .
Davydenko started the second set strongly and opened 4-1 lead with double break. The Russian then served out the match after exchanging a break. The second seed, who was relentless from the baseline, served better (first serve % 78-50) and returned better (return points won % 52-36).
The 13th-seeded Mathieu was looking for his fifth career title. With today's result, Davydenko improved his head to head with Mathieu, 1-2.
The Russian expressed his jubilation, "This title is a little anniversary for me. It is my fifteenth tournament victory on the ATP Tour – that really makes me very proud." "It [the trophy] must weigh at least 15 kilos – fortunately, I came by car,” he joked.
Yesterday, the second seed came form behind in both sets to beat David Ferrer 7-5, 7-6 (2) before setting up a final against Mathieu. Ferrer, former world No. 4 and two times finalist this year, has been in the title drought for more than a year now, since 2008 s-Hertogenbosch.
Also yesterday, Mathieu, recovered from a set down, had beaten qualifier Pablo Cuevas from Uruguay 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. Cuevas, who entered into the clay-court event ranked No. 107 in the world, was the sensation of the tournament and left quite an impression, by beating Philip Kohlschreiber and Nicolas Almagro, who had beaten Robin Soderling in the previous round.
Historically, Davydenko becomes the first man to win the German Open ATP 500. It was a Master Series until last year.