Russian Davydenko comes in from cold to make last eight

Russia's Nikolay Davydenko came in from the barren steppes and on to the main stage today.

The world number six, who has captured the media's attention with his witty sense of humour, had been slipping through the Australian Open almost unnoticed by the general public as before Monday all of his matches took place on outside show courts.

"Why (are) you guys here?" he asked reporters in a full media conference room today after he beat Fernando Verdasco 6-2 7-5 4-6 6-7 6-3 to advance to the quarter-finals.

"Why (have) you come now, (to) ask me private questions? I don't know. You need to ask yourself why you (have) come here," he replied with a huge grin across his face."

The media's new-found interest in the 28-year-old Russian, who has happily discussed his marriage, earnings and life in general this week, is undoubtedly due to the fact he had been the form player on the ATP Tour in the last three months, winning the season-ending Tour Finals in London last year.

He beat Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal again to win the Qatar Open before arriving in Melbourne Park.

Given that growing stature, and progress, organisers moved him to Rod Laver Arena today where he participated in an absorbing battle with Verdasco.

Davydenko, who had not dropped a set at Melbourne Park this year before the fourth round match with Verdasco, overcame the tiring Spaniard in the fifth to set up the quarter-final against either world number one Federer or Australia's Lleyton Hewitt.

Davydenko, who is now on a 13-match winning streak, however still feels he is an outsider for the Norman Brookes Memorial Cup, particularly if he meets Federer in the next round.

"He's number one, I'm number six. Why (would I think) I need to be favourite if I'm not number one?" he asked.

"He is always favourite for me. But on the court, I try to change my mind. I feel (if) I have then chance to win a set, and the next set, I realise (it)."

Verdasco, however, said while Davydenko was capable of winning the tournament he thought both Federer and Nadal's experience over five sets in grand slams would probably prevail.

"I think that Federer and Nadal in five sets are better than the rest," Verdasco said. "That's why they always normally win all the grand slams.

"Davydenko, Murray and the guys just behind them, I think they're not at that level. Maybe they can beat them but it's tough."

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific