Monday, August 06, 2007

Tennis as crooked as the NBA

Officials on Friday were investigating suspicious betting patterns on a match involving top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, who retired with an injury against a low-ranked opponent at an ATP tournament in Poland. British online gambling company Betfair said it received about $7 million in bets on the match -- 10 times the usual amount -- and most of the money was on Arguello to win, even after Davydenko won the first set 6-2. Arguello won the second set 6-3 and was leading 2-1 in the third when the Russian retired. Davydenko said he aggravated a left foot injury in the second set. He received medical attention from a tournament trainer before deciding to quit.

Davydenko's agent said that the Russian was "flabbergasted" when told about the suspicious betting. "Neither Nikolay nor his coach nor me nor anybody out of our entourage has been involved in this."

"Normally I try to fight to the end but it was very painful and I may have done even more damage by trying to finish the match," Davydenko said Thursday after the match. "Since the beginning of Monday I've had a problem with my left toes. Today that became a problem with my foot."

It's good that Davydenko retired to avoid being in further pain. You can bet if he actually won the match, he would have ended up with his injured toes in casts. Made of cement. At the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

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