Life is finally looking up for Nikolay Davydenko. The man at the centre of the ATP's anti-corruption investigations has spent the last few months in the spotlight, fielding questions, denying allegations and attempting to squash rumours. But at last, he seems to be winning his own battles.
Yesterday his appeal against a $2,000 fine for failing to give his 'best effort' in his second-round defeat in St Petersburg was upheld. He may have played badly, losing in three sets to Marin Cilic, but the review panel decided Davydenko had not given up and had, in fact, been trying as hard as he could.
Gayle David Bradshaw, the ATP's head of rules and competitions, said in a statement: "Following an extensive review of the match in St Petersburg between Nikolay Davydenko and Marin Cilic, that included a full video analysis, it was decided that Davydenko's appeal should be upheld and the $2,000 fine rescinded."
It was yet another shot in the foot for the beleaguered ATP. When the internet betting company, Betfair, reported $7 million of betting activity on a match between Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello at a tournament in Poland in August, the ATP launched a high-profile investigation into match-fixing and betting, telegraph.co.uk reports.
With one of the heaviest annual schedules of any player, the 26-year-old Davydenko has said he plans to cut back next year because he feels his body is breaking down.
He 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.
Davydenko 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, cnn.com reports.