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Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Sunday Sports

At the year-end WTA championships tournament, Russia's top-ranked female player Svetlana Kuznetsova, ranked #2 in the world, lost every single one of her three round-robin matches and was ejected from the contest in total humiliation. Earlier, it had been announced that Russia may have poisoned a German tennis star in order to win a Davis Cup semi-final contest. In light of Kuznetsova's pathetic display and the Litvinenko affair, it's got to be viewed as a possibility Russians would consider. And now there's more Russian disgrace to report, from the Telegraph:

Allegations abounded about tennis in Russia yesterday. As well as the claim that Tommy Haas had been poisoned in Moscow, a Czech player, Jan Hernych, said he had been offered bribes to throw two matches in Russia last season, one at a tournament in the capital city and another at the event in St Petersburg. Hernych, ranked 165 in the world, alleged he was offered money to deliberately lose his first-round match in Moscow against Italian Filippo Volandri, and to throw his opening round in St Petersburg against Evgeny Korolev, a Russian. Hernych won both matches. "I was approached in Moscow and St Petersburg. Someone called me from the reception to ask me whether I wanted to sell a match - in other words to lose it intentionally," Hernych said. "He spoke in English but didn't identify himself. When I said 'no', he hung up. Nikolay Davydenko, the world No 4 from Russia, is being investigated by the Association of Tennis Professionals after a defeat in Poland in August to a journeyman from Argentina. Betfair, an online bookmaker, declared void more than £3 million which had been wagered, after picking up on irregular betting patterns.

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