Sports Outside the Beltway

ATP fines Nikolay Davydenko for lack of effort

This comes as the #4 men’s tennis player in the world is being investigated for another questionable match.

ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) – World number four Nikolay Davydenko has been fined $2,000 (976 pounds) for not trying hard enough during his shock defeat by Croatian qualifier Marin Cilic at the St Petersburg Open on Thursday.

“Nikolay Davydenko was fined $2,000 for lack of best effort in his second-round match against Marin Cilic,” the governing body for men’s tennis, ATP, said in a statement on Friday.

The top seed played near-flawless tennis in the first set against the 102nd-ranked Cilic but then started making numerous errors and committed 10 double faults in the last two sets.

He was warned by Belgian umpire Jean-Philippe Dercq in the final set for not trying hard enough.

“I double-faulted to lose a game in the third set and he gave me a warning saying I was trying to lose on purpose,” Davydenko told reporters after the match.

“I was simply shocked to hear him say that. This is just outrageous. How does he know what I was trying to do? I was so upset with the whole thing I started crying.”

The Russian is being investigated by the ATP after his first-round match against Argentine Martin Vassallo Arguello in Poland in August attracted irregular betting patterns.

I rarely follow tennis, so I won’t pass judgment on whether anything irregular happened during these matches. However for the integrity of professional tennis, I hope the ATP is taking these allegations seriousl. A sport can suffer incredible damage if the integrity of its events, matches or games look to be questionable to its fans. Even if the charges are said to be unsubstaniated for lack of proof, harm can be done. OJ Simpson was found not guilty of murder, but how many people today think really think he didn’t kill his wife in 1994?Simpson is out of sports, but even if Davydenko is cleared, that doesn’t mean the rumors won’t go away.

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