Lleyton Hewitt fired back against allegations linking him to a BuzzFeed and BBC report of rampant match-fixing in professional tennis, calling it a “joke” and an “absolute face.”
“I know my name’s been thrown into it,” Hewitt told reporters following a second round loss to David Ferrer at the Australian Open earlier in the week.
“I don’t think anyone here would think that I’ve done anything corruption or match fixing,” he added. “It’s just absurd.”
Prior to the start of the Australian Open, BuzzFeed and the BBC reported that 15 players in the main draw of the 2016 Australian Open had ties to match-fixing, including one Grand Slam winner. The BuzzFeed/BBC report said that their algorithms picked up matches in which unusual betting patterns shifted the odds, but neglected to name any specific names.
But after the publication of the initial report, multiple websites subsequently published the names of players they suspected could be the ones flagged in the BuzzFeed and BBC reports, using the original data with their own gambling algorithms.
Hewitt, who won both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open over the course of his career, was among the biggest name implicated in these reports. The Australian announced prior to the start of this year’s Australian Open that it would be the last of his career.
“I think anyone throwing my name out there with it makes the whole thing an absolute farce,” said Hewitt.
“For anyone who tries to go further with it, then good luck. Take me on with it. Yeah, it’s disappointing.”
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