Davydenko hit in the pocket

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The Independent Online

Nikolai Davydenko was probably expressing the views of many when he said that some of the game's top players had pulled out of this week's Sydney International tournament because they did not care about the event, which is the last major warm-up for next week's Australian Open.

Nevertheless, the world No 3 found himself $10,000 (about £5,150) worse off after being fined for his remarks. Etienne De Villiers, chairman of the Association of Tennis Professionals, said Davydenko's comments were harmful, although he admitted: "It seems some players are still looking at the event as an option rather than a commitment." He added that $10,000 was a fair sanction for comments "that not only damaged the very fine tournament in Sydney but also sully the reputation of our great sport".

Davydenko pulled out on Wednesday after retiring during his second-round match with Paul Henri-Mathieu. He has a foot injury that doctors fear may be a stress fracture, which could keep him out of action for six weeks. Rafael Nadal, Paradorn Srichapan, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Nadia Petrova also withdrew during the tournament, and Lleyton Hewitt and Dmitry Tursunov pulled out before the start.

Federer is preparing for the defence of his Melbourne title by playing in an invitation event at Kooyong. He won his second match yesterday, beating Marat Safin, and will play the winner of today's meeting between Andy Murray and Andy Roddick in tomorrow's final.