Match-fixing in Tennis: a Plague That may be Getting Worse

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Only a couple of weeks ago I wrote another article about match-fixing in tennis, saying that this issue has not stopped at all. I now felt the need of writing another one because in last few days I noticed many suspicious matches: we are passing from a couple of matches per day to almost ten daily during early rounds.

First of all, it has become obvious for players and arrangers that the risk of being caught is very close to zero if they pay attention not to leave any clue on their phone, laptop, or bank account.

Match-fixing in Tennis: a Plague That may be Getting Worse

Especially in Morocco (where this week they are playing the third Futures tournament in a row), the situation appears very suspicious with at least a couple of matches ssupect for fixing per day in the early rounds of singles and doubles.

Here below a few examples from Morocco ITFs.

We had different types of possible fixing: heavy favourites that sold sets and heavy underdogs that sold the only thing the could–losing a set by precisely an 0-6 score.

Amine Ahouda lost the match 6-0 6-4 (first set, second set, and ml looks to be suspicious)

Mohamed Aziz Dougaz won the match 2-6 6-0 6-2 (first set looks suspicious)

Sheriff Sabry won the match 1-6 6-0 6-3 (first set looks suspicious)

Mehdi Jdi won the match 6-0 6-2 (first set 6-0 correct score looks suspicious)

Ayoub Chakrouni lost the match 6-1 6-0 (second set 6-0 correct score looks suspicious)

Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen only in Morocco, but elsewhere as well; as you can see below.

The weaker brother, Aleksander Malyshev easily won the match 6-4 6-3 (match looks suspicious)

Hugo Dellein (defending champion) lost 6-0 6-1 (match handicap and set 1 correct score look suspicious)

Brechemier/Folliot won the match 6-0 1-6 6-4 (set 2 looks suspicious)

Also at Challenger level we had a couple of very suspicious matches this week

Antal Van Der Duim lost 61 64 (first set hc, match hc, and 0-2 look suspicious)

Just to make another example of how often players can do that, a few days ago I put this comment on Twitter (discussion was about players blacklisted by bookmakers)

A few hours after that tweet Marcos Giraldi Requena played a match as 1.08 favourite pre-match and lost 6-1 6-1 in 62 minutes.

As you can see ,all these very suspicious matches have being played in the very last days and I am aware that sometimes very big amounts placed (that lead to odds removal/cut limits) can depend by others factors (bad initial pricing, injury concerns etc..), but none of these matches have any other explanation other than fixing, especially considering that the bookmakers removed some specific markets that always ended like that outcome was fixed.

Difficult Times

I think we are entering into a very difficult era for bookmakers and for occasional/professional gamblers. The phenomenon is spreading quickly as players are no longer afraid of the Tennis Integrity Unit. Players are also well aware that there are strange results happening every day. They see no action at all by TIU, so even players who have not yet been involved in the fixing world are more and more tempted to enter this magic world when you can win the match and be paid for selling a set or a break. You can also be paid for losing a set 0-6. This is tempting as som many players struggle to be able to cover expenses for the next tournament.

As I wrote in my previous article, increasing the prize money could be fair for players but would not be enough to avoid fixing; the only way to make this wonderful sport clean is to ban players. The TIU must also accept the help of bookmakers. They can easily trace amounts of bets placed, origin of accounts, and the related scores of the match.

Editor’s Disclaimer: As always, the author is presenting facts that are seemingly only explained by matches being fixed. No direct allegations are being made without proof; the only allegations are of extremely suspicious activity, not that there is proof of fixing.