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Fixing allegations surface in tennis


The opening day of Australian Open 2016 was overshadowed by a BBC & BuzzFeed story on widespread match-fixing in tennis by players at the upper level of the game.

The story said that governing bodies were repeatedly warned about a core group of 16 players, all ranked in the top 50 and more than half of them set to begin playing at the Australian Open on Monday. Unfortunately, none of these players have faced any sanctions.

Major revelations in the report:

  • Winners of singles and doubles titles at Grand Slam tournaments are among the core group of 16 players who have repeatedly been reported for losing games when highly suspicious bets have been placed against them.
  • One top-50 player competing in the Australian Open is suspected of repeatedly fixing his first set.
  • Players are being targeted in hotel rooms at major tournaments and offered $50,000 or more per fix by corrupt gamblers.
  • Gambling syndicates in Russia and Italy have made hundreds of thousands of pounds placing highly suspicious bets on scores of matches – including at Wimbledon and the French Open.
  • The names of more than 70 players appear on nine leaked lists of suspected fixers who have been flagged up to the tennis authorities over the past decade without being sanctioned.

Djokovic & Federer React

Novak Djokovic, who claimed to have rejected £110,000 to lose a match early in his career, said there was “no real proof” of fixing among the elite. “It’s just speculation” the 10-time Grand Slam champion added.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer said it was “super serious” and ‘super important” to maintain the integrity of Tennis, but added that it was difficult to gauge if and to what level fixing went on. “I would love to hear names,” said the Swiss. “Then at least it’s concrete stuff and you can actually debate about it.

Excerpts taken from BuzzFeed & BBC Sport

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