As the Australian Open starts today, a select group of the top seeds will be playing under suspicion of fixing matches.
They will do so anonymously, but questions about the game’s integrity have been raised this morning by details of an investigation into men’s tennis by BuzzFeed News and the BBC.
Leaked documents known as “the Fixing Files” and BuzzFeed’s own analysis of betting on 26,000 matches and interviews identified “15 players who regularly lost matches in which heavily lopsided betting appeared to substantially shift the odds”.
Four players showed a pattern of losing these “red-flag” matches.
Among the findings released today, BuzzFeed and the BBC have claimed:
- Winners of singles and doubles titles at Grand Slam tournaments are among 16 players repeatedly reported for losing games when highly suspicious bets have been placed against them;
- One top-50 player at the Australian Open is suspected of repeatedly fixing his first set;
- Players targeted in hotel rooms at major tournaments and offered $50,000 or more per fix by corrupt gamblers;
- Highly suspicious bets have been placed on scores of matches at Wimbledon and the French Open, and
- More than 70 players have been flagged with tennis authorities for a decade without being sanctioned.
It’s a huge story, following years of investigation. Read it all here at BuzzFeed.