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Fabrice Santoro rejects claim Novak Djokovic threw match

The former French player spoke out after an Italian newspaper said Djokovic could have thrown the second round match 6-3, 6-2.

Fabrice Santoro rejects claim Novak Djokovic threw match

Paris: Fabrice Santoro on Thursday laughed off a suggestion that world number one Novak Djokovic deliberately lost to him at the Paris Masters in 2007.

The former French player spoke out after an Italian newspaper said Djokovic could have thrown the second round match 6-3, 6-2.

"I was never the best player in the world but I'd beaten 19 of the 23 best players in the world, and a week before I'd beaten American Andy Roddick, who was world number five," Santoro, who was ranked 39 at the time, told BeIN Sports television.

Whilst Djokovic "had undoubtedly not played the match of his life", Santoro refuted the suggestion that the Serbian had been involved in match-fixing.

"One has to be careful, you can't just write any old thing, you have to have proof," Santoro, now a commentator, said.

Djokovic on Wednesday called the corruption claim "absurd".

It's not true," the 28-year-old Serb told a tense press conference at the Australian Open in Melbourne when asked about the suggestion.

He said it would remain speculation until there was "real proof and evidence".

"What is there to say? I've lost that match. I don't know if you're trying to create a story about that match or for that matter any of the matches of the top players losing in the early rounds, I think it's just absurd," said Djokovic.

The spectre of match-fixing overshadowed the Australian Open after the BBC and BuzzFeed News claimed that 16 top players had repeatedly been suspected of involvement in fixed matches but never faced action.

Tennis authorities have also strongly denied suggestions that evidence of corruption has been deliberately suppressed.

From Zee News

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