Marco Cecchinato Acquitted Of Match-Fixing - UBITENNIS
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Marco Cecchinato Acquitted Of Match-Fixing

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Marco Cecchinato in action during the 2016 French Open (zimbio.com)

Former top 100 player Marco Cecchinato has been reinstated to the professional tour after a successful appeal to the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

 

The 24-year-old was suspended by the Italian Tennis Federation earlier this year after an investigation alleged that Checchinato was complicit in match-fixing. Prosecutors accused the Italian of fixing the outcome of one of his matches at a Moroccan Challenger tournament on October 8th, 2015. The investigation claimed to have found evidence that the Italian, along with fellow player Riccardo Accardi, placed a bet on the him losing that match. Cecchinato has denied the allegation throughout the investigation.

Originally banned for 18 months, Cecchinato had his penalty reduced to 12 months in October after an independent tribunal ruled that he did not intentionally plan to fix a match. The tribunal accepted that the world No.188 never told Accardi that he was going to fix his match, but just notified him that he was feeling unwell. Furthermore, his revelations of compatriot Andreas Seppi having ‘physical issues’ prior to his match against John Isner at the 2015 French Open weren’t illegal because they was already reported in newspapers.

Following on from the reduction in his sentence, Cecchinato’s ban has been fully overturned. The appeal committee at the CONI concluded that there was ‘irregularities’ regarding how the evidence was gathered during the match-fixing investigation, ruling that the ban was not valid. He has also been exempt from paying his $20,000 fine.

Peaking at a career high of 82nd in October 2015, Cecchinato has won two Challenger titles in his career. His most recent triumph occurred in June at the Milan Open where he defeated Laslo Djere in the final. Outside of the Challenger events, he reached the quarter-final at this year’s Bucharest Open, an ATP 250 event.

Free to return to the tour, Cecchinato will start his 2017 season at the Doha Open where he will play in the qualifying draw.

Throughout 2016 tennis has been marred by match-fixing allegations. Earlier this year the Independent Review Panel was created to evaluate the integrity of tennis following allegations of widespread corruption by a joint report published by Buzzfeed News and the BBC. More recently, 34 people, including six unnamed tennis players on the Futures tour, were arrested in connection with a suspected match-fixing ring in Spain and Portugal.

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Hsieh Su-Wei and Elise Mertens win their second title as a team in Indian Wells

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This year’s Wimbledon doubles champions Hsieh Su-Wei and Elise Mertens lifted the Indian Wells doubles title after their 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 win over Veronika Kudemertova and Elena Rybakina after 1 hour and 34 minutes. 

 

Hsieh Su Wei and Mertens won their second title as a team following their Grand Slam triumph at Wimbledon. 

Hsieh teamed up with Mertens for the first time during the clay-court season this summer. They fended off match points to beat Kudemertova and Elena Vesnina in the Wimbledon final. 

Hsieh has won her 30th career doubles title third Indian Wells doubles title with three different partners following her previous triumphs with Peng Shuai in 2014 and Barbora Strycova in 2018. Mertens has lifted 14 doubles titles. 

Kudemertova and Rybakina played their third doubles tournament as a team. Rybakina qualified for her first doubles final. 

Hsieh and Mertens earned an early break. Kudemertova and Rybakina got the break back in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Hsieh and Mertens earned a second break at love in the 11th game to take a 6-5 lead after a double fault from Kudemertova. Rybakina and Kudemertova pulled back on serve from 0-30 down to draw level to 6-6. Kudemertova won the first point with a overhead winner. Hsieh and Mertens earned two mini-breaks to open up a 4-1 lead, as Kudemertova made two double faults. Hsieh earned two set points with an ace. Hsieh and Mertens converted their first chance after Kudemertova missed a overhead. 

Both teams traded breaks twice at the start of the second set. Hsieh and Mertens earned the crucial break at 5-3. Mertens served out the win in the ninth game. 

“We tried to play aggressive. Su-wei at the net, me from the back so she can cross. I think it all clicked a little bit better in the second set. So we are really happy with the win and qualified for the WTA Finals, so we are very happy for that too”, said Mertens. 

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John Peers and Filip Polasek claim their first team doubles title in Indian Wells

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John Peers and Filip Polasek won their first team title with a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) win over Aslan Karatsev and Andrey Rublev at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. 

 

Peers and Polasek were not able to convert two match points at 5-3 on Rublev’s serve and were broken in the next game when they were serving for the match. Both teams traded breaks en route to the tie-break. The Australian and Slovakian team came back from 3-5 down by winning five consecutive games to claim the second set 7-5. 

Peers and Polasek reached the San Diego final in the build-up to Indian Wells. 

“It’s always great fun getting back to the desert and playing here. To be able to say we have won the title here is very special. We started pretty slow as but we put in some good work pre-US Open. It’s been a lot of fun since and we have continued to work and enjoy playing together. We were riding the doubles rollercoaster and will try to get results like this more often. We are looking forward to continuing together”,said Peers.  

Polasek claimed his 16th title and his second Masters 1000 trophy following Cincinnati in 2019. 

“I am really happy the way we played. We came here early, which helped us to adapt to the conditions. It was very different to play in the day than in the night sessions, which we played in our last matches. We were able to adapt the best of all teams”, said Polasek. 

Rublev and Karatsev were on a eight-match winning streak. They claimed the Doha title earlier this year. 

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Filip Krajinovic To Skip Australian Open If Required To Quarantine For More Than Five Days

The world No.34 says he ‘sees no reason’ why vaccinated players should have to go through a long quarentine in Australia.

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Image via twitter.com/atptour (Alexander Scheuber)

The second highest-ranked Serbian player in men’s tennis says it would be ‘unacceptable’ for organisers of the Australian Open to require players to quarantine for more than a week if they have been fully vaccinated.

 

Filip Krajinovic has become the first player to publicly state that they will not be prepared to travel to Melbourne at the end of this season if they have to go through strict quarantine measures once again. All the players who participated in this year’s Australian Open were required to be quarantined in a designated hotel for 14 days upon arrival in the country. During their stay they were allowed to use training facilities but that was the only time they could leave the premises unless there was an emergency.

There is no final decision regarding the travel requirements for the 2022 tournament but there are concerns that unvaccinated players may not be allowed to enter the country. The Victorian government recently issued a mandate ordering all essential workers to be vaccinated, including athletes. However, the regional government will not have the final say concerning tennis players arriving in the country with the national government being the ones in charge of that decision.

“They are very rigorous there and honestly, if I have to be in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Melbourne, I will not go to Australia,” Krajinovic told Serbian newspaper Blic.
“I was vaccinated, I did everything in my power to protect myself and the people around me, so I really see no reason to sit there for 14 days in a room.’
“If they (the organisers) say that after arrival I need, say, five days to be in isolation, that’s OK for me, but anything beyond that is unacceptable to me. With the season ending late, I will have 20 days to get ready and go. Charter flights will be organized again and the last one is planned for December 28 for the players and that is the final date when I can go to Australia. I will see what the final decision from Melbourne will be, so I will cut what is the best thing to do.”

Earlier this week Victoria’s Sports minister Martin Pakula urged players to be vaccinated because it give them ‘the best opportunity to play in the Australian Open.’ It is expected that if unvaccinated players are allowed to attend, they will be subjected to stricter restrictions. This might include a longer quarantine period upon arrival and limitations of where they can go during their stay.

Last year, all of those players had to do their 14 days of quarantine. Right now there looks like there will be different rules for people who enter this country who are vaccinated as against unvaccinated and I don’t think the tennis will be any exception to that.” Pakula told the Sports Entertainment Network (SEN).
“In terms of what rules apply for people to enter Australia, whether unvaccinated people are allowed in at all, I don’t the answer to that yet. That’s going to be the subject of discussion at national cabinet and among the federal cabinet … those rules are not set by state governments.” He added.

Krajinovic is currently ranked 34th in the world and has a win-loss record this season of 18-18. At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells he reached the second round before falling in straight sets to Daniil Medvedev. His best run so far this year was at the Hamburg Open where he reached the final.

“When we look at the whole of 2021, I played one final, one semifinal, there were good victories, but also worse results,” the 29-year-old commented.

Krajinovic is currently without a coach but is currently in ‘negotiations’ with somebody without elaborating further about who that person is.

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