Can we trust any top-level Tennis player?

By Emma Neary

Match fixing scandals have been a key centre of discussion in the past week after Novak Djokovic announced that he had previously been offered money to lose a match. This came as a shock to the world of Tennis raising the question as to whether betting in the sport should be banned.

However, despite the BBC and Buzzfeed receiving leaked documents about previous match fixing investigations, nothing seems to be being done about it. I can’t help but question whether crime in sport is being taken seriously enough.

According to the BBC and Buzzfeed, a number of matches in 2007 were highlighted to the Tennis authorities, three of which were at Wimbledon. The information presented was said to have provided enough evidence to pursue the offenders however suspiciously, no action was taken.

This can only lead us to question why nothing has been followed up since then? To make things more interesting, they are not naming the corrupt players. With the fans paying money to watch the sport, would it not be fair for them to know the names of the corrupt players?

An ex-Tennis player from South America told the BBC that match-fixing is still on going; stating that fewer players would be tempted to fix if they were getting paid more. This doesn’t come to a surprise as Djokovic netted £1.88m from winning Wimbledon’s men’s singles final in 2015. Although, the ex-player further claims that fixing is not just limited to lower-ranked professionals, raising suspicion amongst the elite players, despite the denial of any knowledge from the likes of Serena Williams.

Are the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) even trying to stop it? Are they simply trying to protect the image of Tennis as being a clean sport?

The TIU responded to match fixing claims stating that ‘any suggestion that evidence of match-fixing has been suppressed’; but leaving it to suspicion can only lead to further speculation. Players need to feel confident that they can speak out, and those who have been a part of match-fixing should be named.

The fixing system arguably, doesn’t seem to be taken seriously enough with so many previous cases being swept under the carpet. Is the temptation too difficult for non-elite players to resist? How can we find out whether the top-level players are match fixing or not?

The association needs to re-instate its rules and regulations due to the on-going occurrence of this issue for Tennis. This doesn’t give the audience and retrospective upcoming new talent insightfulness into sportsmanship. Surely it should be about the love of the sport, not the rewards.

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