Chennai:Russian Nikolay Davydenko's New Year's resolution is to prove his mettle in Grand Slam events by recasting the script of 2008, which saw him fail to reach the quarterfinals of any of the four major championships for the first time in four years.
World No. 5 Davydenko, a two-time semifinalist at the French and U.S. Opens, won three titles in five finals appearances last year and featured among the top five for the fourth successive year.
But the 27-year-old on Monday said his 2008 performance was rendered inadequate without success at the Grand Slam events.
"I want better results in the Grand Slam tournaments," said Davydenko, who is top-seed at this week's $450,000 Chennai Open, one of three season-opening events of the ATP Tour.
"I want to prove something and not just stay among the top five. It's the big ones that count and they're going to be my top priority this year," he said. "It's nice to figure among the top five, but it's more important to do well in the Grand Slams."
A semifinalist at Roland Garros in the 2005 and 2007, and at the U.S. Open in 2006 and 2007, Davydenko's best Grand Slam finishes in 2008 were fourth-round exits at the Australian and U.S. Opens.
His best performance in 2008 came during the title-winning week at the Miami Masters, where he posted back-to-back wins over American Andy Roddick and current No. 1 Rafael Nadal of Spain. The Russian's other titles came at Portschach, Austria, and Warsaw, Poland.
Davydenko advanced to the final of November's season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, where he lost to Serbian Novak Djokovic.
"I'll continue to chase wins on the circuit and boost my point tally, but am hoping to make a bigger impact in the Grand Slam tournaments," said Davydenko, who has this year changed his itinerary ahead of the Australian Open by starting the season at Chennai, where he last played in 2001.
For the past six years, Davydenko began the year at Doha, Qatar, which offers bigger prize money.
"I wanted to change something. Maybe, I'll win in Chennai and go better prepared to Australia," said Davydenko, whose compatriot Mikhail Youzhny defeated Nadal to win last year's Chennai Open.
Neither Youzhny nor Nadal are playing in Chennai this year.