Men's Tennis

Novak Djokovic Faces Nikolay Davydenko at Montreal: Is an Upset in the Making?

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23:  Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts during the men's singles first round match against Nikolay Davydenko of Russia during the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena on November 23, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Marcus ChinCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2011

The thunderous fall of Andy Murray, the two time defending champion at the Montreal Masters, yesterday has set an interesting precedent.

Will this be a tournament packed with some unexpected results?

It would be hard to suggest a tournament of upsets - Stan Wawrinka, after all, fairly outclassed David Nalbandian yesterday, too, to show that seedings do matter. But we most certainly won't be having the Big Four in the semifinals this Saturday.

Today another big name - in fact, The Big Name, Novak Djokovic, comes out to play. He could not have a tougher start to Montreal, facing as he will Nikolay Davydenko. He is 3-2 against the Russian, but has never quite found a dominant range against him.

None of his rivals of late have, either. Only Federer owns a commanding head to head record against him, but 15-2 belies much of the closeness of the matches they have played. Nadal, too, is having some serious trouble against him, being down 4-6 against Davydenko, and remarkably the loser in their last four contests.

Djokovic will have to watch his back. He may have a bigger groundstroke game, but Davydenko is a swift and deadly defender, and won't be making winners easy for the Serb. Besides, there will inevitably be that coldness that comes from not having played a competitive match in several weeks, while Davydenko is the sort of player who manages to find some golden form just as he seems down and dusted.

None of their matches, save for the Shanghai Masters final in 2008, have been one-sided affairs. Montreal should provide more of the same. Are we looking at another, even more colossal, upset? There is always the chance.

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