The bookies knew something was up. Eleven bettors, nine of them based in Russia, had just put millions of dollars via the English sportsbook Betfair on Martin Vassallo Arguello beating Nikolay Davydenko in their match at the Orange Prokrom Open in Sopot, Poland on August 2, 2007. The wagers, which pushed the total betting volume to 10 times past average, came in after Arguello, ranked 87th in the world, had dropped the first set 6-2 to Davydenko, ranked 4th in the world. Davydenko eventually retired from the match in the third set, citing a stress fracture in his left foot.
If the fix was in, no one was bothering to cover their tracks.
Per their agreement, Betfair alerted the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), the governing body of men’s professional tennis, of the suspicious betting patterns and voided all bets placed on the match. The ATP launched an inquiry that lasted more than a year, the association’s longest ever investigation of match fixing. Both Davydenko and Arguello were cleared by the ATP of any wrongdoing due to a lack of evidence.