Nikolay Davydenko - The Australian Open

Ukranian-born Nikolay Davydenko joins Russian exhibition amid ongoing war

Nikolay Davydenko, who retired in 2014, has signed up for a team exhibition event in St. Petersburg as a playing captain despite the current war taking place in Ukraine, his country of birth. 

Davydenko was born in Sievierodonetsk, Ukraine, and moved to the Russian City of Volgograd at the age of 11, in the hopes of increasing his chances of succeeding as a professional tennis player.

The event’s format means that Davydenko is one of six playing captains, alongside Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Myskina, Elena Vesnina, Viktor Troitsky and Janko Tipsarevic. Each team will consist of one playing captain, a current ATP player and a current WTA player.

There are a plethora of active Russian players announced for the event including Aslan Karatsev, Anastasia Potapova, Anastasia Gasanova, Kamila Rakhimova, Vitalia Diatchenko and Evgeny Donskoy.

Potapova is the currently the highest ranked female player in the tournament, at 43. Although Karatsev is slightly down in the rankings at the moment, he has been as high as no.14 following his success at the Australian Open in 2021.

As well as the Russian players taking part in St. Petersburg there will visiting players including Yulia Putintseva, Anna Bondar, Marton Fucsovics, Laslo Djere and Pedro Martinez.

Putintseva is almost the opposite of Davydenko, having been born in Moscow but switched her allegiance to Kazakstan back in 2012.

The organisers have said that the tournament format will look similar to other mixed competitions, like the former Hopman Cup and the upcoming United Cup.

The event is hosted by Formula Tennis Hockey LLC, who are also the organisers of the St. Petersburg Open ATP250 and the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy WTA500 events, and is taking place between the 1st and 4th of December.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.