Nikolay Davydenko was at the center of a match-fixing controversy related to a match against Martin Vassallo Arguello in Sopot, Poland in 2007. The ATP conducted a year-long investigation into suspicious betting activities surrounding the match.
Davydenko, ranked No.5 at the time, withdrew from the match, against the 87-th ranked Vassallo Arguello in the third set, citing a foot injury. Betfair voided all bets on the match after receiving approximately $7m in wagers, 10 times the usual amount for a match of that level.
Most of the money was placed on Arguello, even after he lost the first set. The ATP conducted interviews, reviewed betting account details, and examined phone records but found no conclusive evidence.
Throughout the investigation, Davydenko, along with his wife and family members, underwent interviews and phone records were scrutinized. Davydenko had suggested that he might have inadvertently given information to betters by discussing his injury loudly with his wife.
The ATP statement mentioned that certain individuals declined to provide phone records, and some records that were eventually obtained had been destroyed in accordance with data protection laws.
This scandal led to increased scrutiny of tennis matches, with various betting agencies presenting tennis authorities with a dossier of matches displaying irregular betting patterns.
Despite the controversy, Davydenko and Arguello consistently denied wrongdoing. The ATP has since then issued guidelines, such as mandatory reporting of suspicious contacts with gambling syndicates within 48 hours and the potential for life bans for players found guilty of match-fixing, to address corruption in the sport.
Nikolay Davydenko raises eyebrows questioning Carlos Alcaraz’s late-season form
Retired Russian tennis player Nikolay Davydenko has expressed his concern over Carlos Alcaraz‘s late-season struggle, suggesting a connection with his Spanish roots. Davydenko, in an interview with Campionat, criticized the Spanish approach to tennis, claiming that Alcaraz’s dip in form may be attributed to an emphasis on physical fitness over technical aspects.
According to Davydenko, the Spanish school of tennis prioritizes intense physical fitness over other aspects of the game. Despite Alcaraz’s initial success in 2023, winning six titles, including two Masters and a Grand Slam, his performance declined in the later part of the season. Davydenko highlighted Alcaraz’s inability to defend his US Open title and his failure to reach the finals after the Cincinnati Masters, including a semifinal exit at the ATP Finals.
“For me, Alcaraz is very strange. Why is this happening? Because in the Spanish school of tennis there is very serious physical activity. They swing unrealistically, they have supernatural physical fitness.“
“They focus on this more than on tennis. For them, tennis is in the background. They say that first of all, you need to run and not get tired, and then play on the other side of the court.”-Nikolay Davydenko in an interview with Campionat