Nikolay Davydenko, who has denied any wrongdoing in tennis' ongoing betting scandal, on Tuesday described his treatment by the ATP as "idiotic."
Davydenko, ranked fourth in the world, recently won his appeal after he was fined in October for "lack of effort" in a match against Croatian qualifier Marin Cilic at the St. Petersburg Open. The ATP, after reviewing video of the match, rescinded the fine. But he begins the new year with the cloud of an investigation still hanging over his head.
The ATP is seeking telephone records from some of Davydenko's relatives as part of its investigation into allegations of match-fixing and suspicious betting patterns in the sport.
"It's taking months and months. And it may take my whole life. As a tennis player I am patient, it doesn't bother," he said in Doha, Qatar, where on Tuesday he defeated German qualifier Benedikt Dorsch, 6-3, 6-0 in an early-round match at the Qatar Open.
"I provided telephone connection data at the beginning of December and then the ATP wanted data from my wife and brother which we refused. If we allowed that to happen, they would be taking data from my grandmother," Davydenko said, speaking German and using a translator.
"It's a shame that it all started with me and that players like [Potito] Starace get punished as a result," he added, referring to the fact that Starace, an Italian player ranked No. 31, was obliged to withdraw from the Qatar Open this week, having been suspended for six weeks and fined $30,000 for making five bets two years ago totaling about $150.
"It's all idiotic. But I want to fight to get my reputation back."
Concerns about match-fixing began in August, when an
online betting company reported unusual wagering patterns during a
match between Davydenko and Martin Vassallo Arguello of Argentina. The company, Betfair, voided all
bets, and the ATP subsequently began its investigation.