Nikolay Davydenko is due in the Gulf this week, rested and refreshed from his Maldives holiday, and ready to start the 2010 season little more than a month after winning the ATP year-end event in London.
The Russian, ranked sixth in the world, is to compete at the second edition of the Capitala World Tennis Championship in a six-man field headed by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
That top pairing will have a lighter workload on the three-day special event, with the world number one and two awaiting semifinal opponents from the four other contenders in the field — Swiss Stan Wawrinka, 2008 Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, French Open finalist Robin Soderling and Davydenko.
“After some time out I feel refreshed and am now very much looking forward to getting back on the court again and returning to the form I showed towards the end of the season,” said Davydenko.
In 2009, the 28-year-old captured five ATP World Tour titles in a season for the second time in his career after 2006, capped by winning his biggest career title in London.
Davydenko is hoping that he can stay healthy throughout the upcoming season after suffering a heel injury which sidelined him for three months during the first half of 2009.
“The first few months of the year were tough for me — I missed some big competitions which gave the other players a head start to the season, but I’m very proud of my achievements in 2009. It feels great to have finished the year so well, and I’m looking forward to keeping that momentum going in 2010.”
Davydenko faces Tsonga on New Year’s Eve in Abu Dhabi while Wawrinka will play Soderling in the afternoon’s second match.