Toronto, Canada – By Greg Stutchbury
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A lesson for Melbourne locals: the little balding bloke sitting in the corner having dinner may be Nikolay Davydenko. Or it may not be.
That's precisely the level of anonymity the Russian dark horse for this year's Australian Open wants. "I am not Paris Hilton," the world number six told reporters after he dismantled German qualifier Dieter Kindlmann 6-1 6-0 6-3 in the Australian Open first round Tuesday.
"I don't want to be like this. I don't want to be like (Rafa) Nadal, (Roger) Federer. These guys I never see by breakfast. They stay in the room and take room service.
"For me better go downstairs take breakfast, or dinner to go somewhere -- not to be so much famous."
Davydenko, who admitted he is not even widely recognized in his homeland -- "really big country" -- is the form player of the past six months.
He finished 2009 on a massive high after beating Federer, Nadal and U.S. Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro to win the ATP Tour Finals in London.
The win in the season-ending shootout had not changed his career much though the prize money more than covered a two-week diving holiday in the Maldives with his wife afterwards.
The break did Davydenko some good.
He is undefeated in 2010 and beat both Federer and Nadal again to win a lead-up tournament in Doha and the sixth seed said his game had reached a new level.
His new-found confidence at the net combined with his speed around the court has created a very dangerous player.
After losing to Davydenko in London, Del Potro told him it was like playing against a Playstation character.
"Now I try to be faster and faster and come to level PlayStation 4. I hope I can do this. It's very important to me."
(Editing by Alastair Himmer)