Tennis’ match fixing problem may have infected Wimbledon.
At least two Wimbledon matches are being investigated for the possibility of being fixed, according to a report by German newspaper Die Welt. Several suspicious and very specific bets took place, alarming betting officials over rigged matches.
Tennis has been badly affected by match fixing for years now. The International Tennis Integrity Agency was founded due to rampant rigging in the sport, but the problem has not been fully stamped out. In June, Russian tennis player Yana Sizikowa was arrested for allegedly fixing a match during the 2020 French Open. Sizikowa denies any misconduct.
The International Tennis Integrity Agency did not release any information regarding its investigations toward specific matches or players at 2021 Wimbledon for “operational reasons.”
Per the report, the first suspicious match was in the men’s doubles tournament in the first round, as there were high bets against the favored tandem placed at irregular times. The pair won their first set, increasing the odds of their defeat, and then fell in the subsequent three.
The second case allegedly centers around the opponent of a German player in a singles match. Following the second set, exorbitantly high bets were placed on the exact score of the third set and prop bets on the maximum number of service games. Both bets won.
Particularly at the lower levels of tennis, where the prize money is far lower and players do not have sponsorships, fixing matches is quite common. However, even for those competing at a Grand Slam, the financial incentive for losing a match might be more than to continue competing for the $2.3 million prize for the SW19 champion. Those who lose in the first round are awarded $65,000 Euros.
The ITIA has received 34 reports of suspicious matches on the tour since January.