Fixed Game Tennis (englisch)

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More match fixing worries at ATP

ONTHEPUNT EXCLUSIVE

The sport of professional tennis is set to be further tarnished as more evidence of suspected match-fixing on the ATP Tour surfaces.

The latest match that has raised the eyebrows of bookmakers was played between two good friends - Nikolay Davydenko and Sargis Sargsian - at Gstaad on July 4. Sargsian was declared the winner of the match when Davydenko sensationally retired while leading 6-1 1-0. Sargsian started the match as a big underdog at odds of up to 6.50 (11/2).

Davydenko, who just one week later, starred in Russia's Davis Cup quarter-final win over France, cited a wrist injury for the retirement.

One Europe-based bookmaker became suspect when a €4000 bet was placed on Sargsian just five minutes before the match was due to start. It is believed the bookmaker traced the IP address of the betting account to the official player hotel in Gstaad.

Another bookmaker has refused to payout winning bets on the match, citing a rarely used rule that protects them "where evidence exists of rigging or some other act which has unfairly affected the result".

The bookmaker in question has a rule whereby at least one-set of a match must be completed for bets to stand.

Because of irregularities surrounding previous matches involving Sargisian, many bookmakers had not offered odds on the match.

The timing of the latest controversy could not have come at a worse time for red-faced ATP executives who have allowed a tournament in Austria next week to be sponsored by one of Europe's largest tennis bookmakers.

A recent press release issued by tournament organisers titled, "The Generali Open has the next occasion to celebrate: betandwin.com is the new presenting-sponsor", extolled the virtues of being sponsored by the betting shop which will enable spectators to bet live on their cell phones after each point.

"BetandWin serves its customers tennis entertainment in its most exciting way and features all top-matches as live bets. For this reason all viewers at the court have also the opportunity to tip per mobile after every single rally at wap.betandwin.com," the release stated.

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