Davydenko upset by betting controversy
MONTREAL (Reuters) - Russian Nikolay Davydenko said on Wednesday he was worried his reputation would suffer after becoming embroiled in a betting controversy.
Davydenko retired because of a foot injury early in the third set of his match with Martin Vasallo Arguello of Argentina at the ATP event in Sopot last week, only to discover the next day the match was at the centre of a betting scandal.
"It's so surprising," a bemused Davydenko told reporters in Montreal, where he beat Finn Jarkko Nieminen in the second round of the Masters Series tournament.
"Like, who can know that I can be injured and (would) retire in my match? I am disappointed, because I'm a top player and people are talking (about it) not only in Russia, in my country, (but) also talking everywhere in the world.
"It is pretty tough for me, I get more pressure now. Mentally, it's pretty tough."
British betting exchange Betfair, which allows clients to bet against each other and act both as gambler and bookmaker, voided all bets on the match.
Betfair said $7.3 million of bets had been placed and accepted on the match, more than twice the usual amount.
Though Davydenko, the world number five, won the first set, Vasallo Arguello, ranked about 80 places lower, became the favourite, the opposite of normal practice in such a situation.
Betfair voided all bets and, as part of its "memorandum of understanding", notified the governing body of men's tennis, the ATP.
In a statement, ATP executive chairman Etienne De Villiers said: "We have instigated a full ATP investigation and we will be using all means available to us...
"That said, it is important that we not jump to conclusions especially when players' reputations could be unfairly tainted."
Davydenko said he had never received any contact from anyone regarding the throwing of a match and added he was worried that his reputation would be tainted.
"I play 30 tournaments in a year," he said. "Last year I lost 10 tournaments in the first round, and also sometimes I'm injured and I retire from a match. In the future I would like somebody to protect me from all these (rumours) or something like this that's happening."
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