REVEALED: 8 tennis matches bookies consider ‘suspicious’, allegedly fixed
Here’s a list of these games in chronological order:
1. An-Sophie Mestach (BEL) vs Tereza Smitkova (CZE) 11.11.2014. ITF Dubai
The punter made a bet on An-Sophie Mestach’s win with 1.44 odds at William Hill. Result: Mestach’s win.
2. Yasutaka Uchiyama (JAP) vs Mikhail Elgin (RUS) 20.11.2014, ATP Challenger, Japan
The punter made a bet on Uchiyama with Pari Match. The Japanese won the match.
3. Agustin Velotti (ARG) vs Denys Molchanov (UKR) 02.02.2015. ATP Challenger, the US
The punter made a $1,000 bet on Velotti’s win with 1.95 odds at William Hill. Velotti won, but the punter’s account was temporarily frozen, including the remaining $2,000 he had. William Hill said it was investigating the match.
4. Jimmy Wang (TPE) vs Giovanni Lapentti (ECU) 17.02.2015. ATP Challenger Mexico
The punter complained about William Hill that didn’t allow him to withdraw money from the account as he made a bet on an allegedly fixed match between Wang and Lapentti. The support service of the bookie said the match was being investigated.
5. Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) vs Ivan Bjelica (SRB) 01.10.2015. ATP Challenger, Agri, Turkey
The punter made a bet on total under 17.5 games with 2.25 odds at Pari Match. The bookmaker refused to pay the winning, citing its own rules on fixed and allegedly fixed matches.
6. Victor Chaw/ Javier Renato Rodriguez Sanchez (PER) Sanchez / Chow vs Mauricio Perez Mota/ Juan Pablo Paz (ARG) 17.11.2015. ITF Peru
The player made at least 13 live bets on Mota/Paz with odds varying from 2 to 6 at 1xbet. The bookmaker refused to pay out the winnings. At the same time, bookie Fonbet paid the punter in full.
7. Illya Marchenko (UKR) vs Filip Horansky (SVK) 23.11.2015. Italy Challenger
The punter made a live bet on total games under 20.5 with 1.82 odds at Fonbet. The bookie annulled the bet.
8. Julien Dubail (BEL) vs Christopher Heyman (BEL) 14.12.2015 ITF, Antalya (Turkey)
The punter made a bet on Heyman’s win with -3.5 games handicap with 1.87 odds at Fonbet.
Bonus: Lara Arruabarrena/ David Marrero (SPA) vs Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) / Lukasz Kubot (POL)
The match hit the headlines when Pinnacle Sports announced heavy betting on Hlavackova/Kubot in the first set. The bookmaker closed the betting line for this game 13 hours before the start. The example was followed by at least another 19 bookmakers. In an interview to CalvinAyre, former Betfair executive Scott Ferguson accused Pinnacle Sports of making a “cheap grab at free publicity.” Betfair kept the markets open – including live-betting – even after Pinnacle went public with its claims. According to William Hill Australia, the site “saw no suspicious betting activity” on the match.
In all the cases, the bookmakers calculated the bets with 1.0 odds. After receiving the information that the matches were presumably fixed, the Bookmaker Ratings closed the complaints as groundless.
As the list shows, the suspicious matches were played in low-class tournaments by little-known players. The most famous among them is Illya Marchenko from Ukraine who once was #67 in ATP ratings. But he won his game against Filip Horansky from Slovakia. There is one more Ukrainian player in this list – Denys Molchanov. Another one is Mikhail Elgin from Russia. Both of them lost their matches. We should mention here that only one suspicious match out of ten was played by women.
There were a lot of talks about fixed matches in professional tennis after the publications from BBC and Buzzfeed before the start of Australian Open. Some 16 tennis players were mentioned there. And eight of them took part in the Australian major tournament. Even Lleyton Hewitt got suspected in taking part in fixed matches. Some top players like Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer have criticized match fixing. ATP Executive Chairman & President Chris Kermode said that all leading tennis organizations want to create an independent anti-corruption group which will fight against fixed matches in tennis.
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