Davydenko is the unlikely star of the O2

NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO treated the London crowd a tennis masterclass on his way to becoming the first Russian to win the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals.<br /><br />The 28-year-old turned on the style to beat Argentina&rsquo;s Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 6-4 to claim the biggest title of his career &ndash; and a cheque for just over &pound;900,000.<br /><br />It was the perfect end to a perfect week for Davydenko, who shone as the unlikely star over the eight days at the O2 Arena, watched by over 250,000 fans overall.<br /><br />Victories over world No2 Rafael Nadal, in-form Robin Soderling and world No1 Roger Federer earned him a second successive place in the final after having lost to Novak Djokovic in Shanghai last year.<br /><br />&ldquo;Until 2008, so many names there, like Djokovic, Federer, everyone, Pete Sampras,&rdquo; said the nostalgic world No7.<br /><br />&ldquo;In 2009 the name Davydenko stays forever for this trophy. I think it&rsquo;s amazing. I know the history of the Masters Cup. For my name be there is something amazing for me.&rdquo;<br /><br />Buoyed by a first victory over Federer in 13 attempts in Saturday&rsquo;s semi-finals, Davydenko looked fresher and sharper than US Open champion Del Potro, who was clearly feeling the after-effects of his late night semi-final win over Soderling.<br /><br />A sloppy, error-strewn start from the Argentine gave Davydenko the first break at 3-1 and he never looked back, clinching the set with a 70 per cent first serve percentage and not one forced error to his name.<br /><br />Victory would have seen Del Potro leapfrog Andy Murray as world No4, and the Argentine rallied to twice force Davydenko to save two break points early in the second set.<br /><br />But the Russian soon steadied himself to take the crucial break in game nine and hold out for the biggest title of his career.<br /><br />&ldquo;Before the match, I was warming up, I was so tired,&rdquo; relieved Davydenko admitted. &ldquo;I was already starting to be scared about how I start to play the match, how can I play against Del Potro.<br /><br />&ldquo;And really in the beginning from the first game, I won my serve. I started to get really good concentration, to be positive, everything was a good feeling.&rdquo;