Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Flushing Meadows: Doubt and Suspicion

Davydenko pulled up lame after three sets of his fourth-round match. “What happened?” he was asked in the aftermath of his handshake as he trailed by two sets to one to Robin Söderling, of Sweden. “Where?” Davydenko replied, knowing exactly what the question meant while maintaining his desire not to play ball. He could not even explain where he was feeling the muscle ache that caused him to stop playing.

It could not help but bring to mind a match of limited international interest in Sopot, Poland, in August 2007 against Martin Vassallo Arguello, of Argentina, that inspired a huge betting swell on the Argentinian after he had lost the first set. Davydenko retired from that match after three games of the third and Betfair — the gambling exchange with which the ATP, the governing body of men’s tennis, works closely — rendered all bets void. The Russian was cleared of any wrongdoing but he cannot escape suspicion’s shadow.

“I do it my way and if I have an injury and if I feel like I can’t finish, I don’t finish,” he said. “I stop it, like today. It doesn’t matter what happen in Sopot. I don’t know what’s happening now. I really don’t care anymore.”

(The Times)

Not quite sure what to make of this as I didn't see the match.

But I'm having difficulty understanding why the Russian "cannot escape suspicion's shadow".

I despise dud withdrawals as much as anyone, but Nikolay is far from being one of the "Career withdrawal Slam's" top seeds . In fact with the amount he invests of himself physically into each and every match, I'd say he's barely a qualifier.
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