A Year To Forget: Five Times Tennis Shocked The World In 2016 - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Focus

A Year To Forget: Five Times Tennis Shocked The World In 2016

Avatar

Published

on

Prev1 of 5
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

It isn’t very often that the ending of a tennis season is celebrated with sighs of relief. Then again, 2016 has been anything but ordinary. From the fiasco surrounding Maria Sharapova’s failed drugs test to the dark world of match-fixing, never before has the sport been caught up in so many scandals within a single season.

The match-fixing revelations

On the eve of the Australian Open, an earthquake erupted in the sport when a joint investigation by the BBC and Buzzfeed News alleged widespread match-fixing. The damning report alleged that the Tennis Integrity Unit was warned seven years ago about a group of 16 players that has been implicit in match-fixing, half of which played at the Australian Open.

 

The allegations made in the report

  • Winners of singles and doubles titles at Grand Slam tournaments are among the core group of 16 players who have repeatedly been reported for losing games when highly suspicious bets have been placed against them.
  • One top-50 player competing in the Australian Open is suspected of repeatedly fixing his first set.
  • Players are being targeted in hotel rooms at major tournaments and offered $50,000 or more per fix by corrupt gamblers.
  • Gambling syndicates in Russia and Italy have made hundreds of thousands of pounds placing highly suspicious bets on scores of matches – including at Wimbledon and the French Open.
  • The names of more than 70 players appear on nine leaked lists of suspected fixers who have been flagged up to the tennis authorities over the past decade without being sanctioned.

The names of those players were never revealed and no action was ever taken against them (as far as it is publicly known). Nevertheless, the report caused turmoil and resulted the creation of an independent body in February. The Independent Review Panel was set up to evaluate the integrity in the sport. The heads of the governing bodies (ATP, WTA and ITF) have all pledged to abide by the recommendations of the panel when they are published in 2017.

Besides the highly publicized report, match-fixing investigations has also occurred in numerous countries. In July Italian player Marco Cecchinato received a 18-month ban for match-fixing from the Italian Tennis Federation (his ban was reduced to 12 months following a successful appeal). Meanwhile, in Spain, an undercover investigation by sports website Marca identified widespread corruption in lower level tournaments. On December 1st Spanish authorities arrested 34 people (including six players) in connection with a suspected match-fixing ring in both Spain and Portugal.

The BBC report into match-fixing (January 2016)

Prev1 of 5
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Focus

Iga Swiatek Demands Talks With ITF And WTA After Withdrawing From Billie Jean King Cup

Iga Swiatek is not happy with the ITF and WTA after withdrawing from the Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

Avatar

Published

on

Iga Swiatek (@IgaSwi_France - Twitter)

The world number one has announced that she will not compete at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in November after criticising tennis’ governing bodies for not looking after player welfare.

 

The event is set to take place the week after the WTA Finals in Glasgow which causes a huge problem and obstacle for many players.

This is definitely the case for Swiatek who has qualified for the WTA Finals which takes place in Texas on the 31st of October.

A huge dilemma which now means Swiatek will not compete for her country at the Billie Jean King Cup.

Speaking on Instagram the Pole criticised the decision from the ITF and WTA and wants to speak to them about player welfare to prevent future decisions from happening, “I was thinking it through a lot and discussing it with my team all over again, but I will not be able to play at the Billie Jean King Cup in Glasgow,” Swiatek said in her Instagram story.

“And it makes me sad. I’m very sorry because I play for Poland whenever it’s possible and I always give it my best. Playing in Poland this year was an honour and I hoped to do this again at the end of the season.

“I’m disappointed that tennis governing bodies didn’t come to an agreement on something as basic as the calendar of tournaments, giving us only one day to travel through the globe and changing the time zone. This situation is not safe for our health and could cause injury.

“I’m going to talk to the WTA and ITF in order to change something. This situation is difficult not only for the players like me, but mainly for the tennis fans that support our fans.”

It’s clear Swiatek wants change in terms of player welfare and communication between governing bodies on how to facilitate the schedule.

However Swiatek now turns her attention to preparing for the WTA Finals and first up for the Pole is Ostrava this week.

In her opening match Swiatek will face either Ajla Tomljanovic or Shuai Zhang.

Continue Reading

Focus

Cameron Norrie Withdraws From Tokyo After COVID Positive Test

Cameron Norrie will miss the rest of the Asian swing due to COVID.

Avatar

Published

on

Cameron Norrie (@the_LTA - Twitter)

After withdrawing from his quarter-final in Seoul, Cameron Norrie has now withdrawn from the ATP 500 event in Tokyo.

 

The Brit’s absence from the latter stages of the ATP 250 event in South Korea, raised eyebrows with Norrie suffering from illness.

However Norrie then withdraw from the ATP 500 event in Tokyo where he was due to play Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Now his absence has been explained as Norrie confirmed on social media that he tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement originally posted on Instagram, Norrie explained he had no symptoms but has to quarantine in his hotel room in Seoul, “Unfortunately I had a positive COVID test in Korea and wasn’t able to compete in the rest of my matches,” Norrie said.

“I have no symptoms and I am feeling 100%. It’s been a complicated situation and I appreciate the Republic of Korea trying their best to be amicable in a very tough situation.

“I was really hoping to go to Tokyo but because of the quarantine period I will not be able to play there. Looking forward to getting back to Europe for the indoors. See you guys soon!”

This is the second time Norrie has tested positive for COVID with the first time being before the start of the season.

Norrie’s scheduled next tournament will be in Stockholm which will take place on the 17th of October.

Continue Reading

Focus

Carlos Alcaraz Faces Rune Test In Astana

Carlos Alcaraz leads a stacked field in Astana next week.

Avatar

Published

on

Carlos Alcaraz (@WeAreTennis - Twitter)

Carlos Alcaraz returns to the ATP tour next week in Astana next week where he faces Danish talent Holger Rune.

 

The world number one plays his first ATP tournament since winning his first Grand Slam title at the US Open and becoming the youngest world number one in history.

Having qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals, Alcaraz will now look to build momentum over the coming weeks for the event in Turin.

First up for Alcaraz is the ATP 500 event in Astana next week where the Spaniard faces a tough opening round in the form of Danish talent Holger Rune.

The Dane reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland Garros earlier this year but had struggled for form since then.

However Rune has reached the semi-finals in Sofia this week and is hitting form at the right time so this will be a big test for Alcaraz.

Should Alcaraz get through that test than a potential second round meeting with Stan Wawrinka could be on the cards with the Swiss wildcard facing Adrian Mannarino in his opening match.

Andrey Rublev is the player that could face Alcaraz in the last eight with the eighth seed facing a qualifier in his opening round match.

Rublev is one of a number of players who are chasing the remaining spots at the Nitto ATP Finals.

Also in the top half of the draw is Stefanos Tsitsipas and Hubert Hurkacz with Tsitsipas facing Mikhail Kukushkin.

While Hurkacz faces Francisco Cerundolo and a potential second round match against home favourite Alexander Bublik could await in round two.

In the bottom half of the draw, Novak Djokovic will continue his search for a surge up the rankings against Cristian Garin.

Djokovic’s potential quarter-final is Jannik Sinner who begins against tricky serve and volleyer Oscar Otte.

Daniil Medvedev is also taking part in a stacked field in Astana as he faces Albert Ramos-Vinolas in his opening round match.

In the bottom quarter there is also an intriguing opening round match between Felix Auger-Aliassime and Roberto Bautista Agut.

Here is the full draw with play starting on Monday:

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending