Spanish tennis player Nicolas Almagro, who threw in the towel in his first round Australian Open match after just 23 minutes, denied reports that he just turned up for the tournament to take the loser's cheque home.
Almagro withdrew from the Australian Open due to a calf injury when he was 0-4 down in the first set against France's Jeremy Chardy, but walked away with a Aus $50,000 (USD 37,400) cheque as a first-round loser.
Australian doubles legend Todd Woodbridge, a TV commentator, ignited a debate when he said: "Questions to be asked. Did (Almagro) just turn up to take money?"
But according to the Melbourne Herald Sun, Almagro later insisted: "I went to court because I think I can play. I was top 10, I have more than 10 million dollars. I'm not going to play for $50,000. It is not the reason."
He added: "I was trying to play during the week. It was tough. I did an MRI (scan) and the result wasn't good. That's it. I couldn't play. I felt the problem again on court and I had to retire.
"I considered (withdrawing) but I was practicing, I didn't feel it during the week. I decided to play today."
(With AFP Inputs)