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ATP upholds Russian tennis star Davydenko appeal, USD2000 fine rescinded

The ATP has dropped a US$2,000 (EUR1,400) fine imposed on fourth-ranked Nikolay Davydenko for "lack of best effort" during a 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 loss to Marin Cilic at St. Petersburg last month.

Davydenko, also at the center of an ongoing investigation into unusual betting patterns during a loss to Martнn Vassallo Arguello of Argentina at the Poland Open in August, had appealed the fine for a code violation, the ATP said Thursday.

"Following an extensive review of the match between Nikolay Davydenko and Martin Cilic that included a full video analysis, it was decided that Davydenko's appeal should be upheld and the US$2,000 fine rescinded," Gayle David Bradshaw, the ATP's executive vice president for rules and competition, said in a statement.

Davydenko has blamed his poor performance on exhaustion. With one of the heaviest annual schedules of any player, the 26-year-old Russian has said he plans to cut back next year because he feels his body is breaking down.

Davydenko's fairly low profile, despite his ranking, has vanished since the ATP began investigating his loss to Arguello. Betfair, an online gambling company, voided all bets on the match after unusually large amounts were wagered on the lowly ranked Argentine throughout the contest, even after he lost the first set 6-1. Davydenko retired with an injury in the third set.

Since then, several players - none in the higher rankings - have reported being approached and offered money to fix matches.

Davydenko also was jeered by the crowd - and criticized by the chair umpire - while committing 10 double faults in a straight-set loss to Marcos Baghdatis in Paris.

He said Monday, after losing to Andy Roddick in three sets in a round-robin match at the season-ending Masters Cup, that he wishes he could go back to being out of the media spotlight.

"That was better," Davydenko said.

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