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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Alexei Popyrin and Alex Bolt crown a perfect day for Australian tennis at Wimbledon’s first qualifying round

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All eight Australian players came through the first Wimbledon qualifying round at Roehampton.

 

Teenager Alexei Popyrin defeated Argentina’s Federico Coria 6-2 7-5. The Aussie 19-year-old Next Gen player is currently in 11th place in the ATP Race to Milan and reached the third round at last January’s Australian Open, where he lost to eventual semifinalist Lucas Pouille. Popyrin has not played a match on grass since playing the Wimbledon Junior tournament in 2016.

Former Australian star Pat Cash, who won at Wimbledon in 1987, has joined Popyrin’s team at Wimbledon and was in his corner.

“I slipped a couple of times here and there, but I like the grass. It suits my game pretty well and we have got a few things to work on with the team, but we will get there”, said Popyrin.

Alex Bolt came back from a set and a break down to beat Italian 17-year-old rising star Jannik Sinner 2-6 7-5 12-10 after 2 hours and 36 minutes.

“I got out of jail free card there. I don’t know how I won that. For a set and and a half Jannik completely outplayed me and I could not have a play on the ball. He was by far the better player on court. He played some quality tennis and I just weathered the storm”, said Bolt.

Jason Kubler overcame Switzerland’s Henri Laaksonen 6-2 5-7 7-5. Kubler was just two points away from losing the match, as he was serving at 4-5 0-30, but he reeled off 12 points to clinch a hard-fought win.

 Germany’s Dustin Brown beat China’s Zhe Li 7-6 (7-2) 6-3 after 1 hour and 21 minutes. The German player of Jamaican origin recently beat Alexander Zverev to reach the quarter final in Stuttgart. Four years ago he upset Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.

 

 

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Fed Cup

Simona Halep Threatens To Boycott Fed Cup If Revamp Takes Place

The 27-year-old has criticised proposals to change the format of the team competition.

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Simona Halep (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

Former world No.1 Simona Halep has said she will stop playing in the Fed Cup if the International Tennis Federation removes home and away ties from the competition.

 

In recent months there has been speculation that the women’s team event will soon follow the path of the Davis Cup, which has undergone a controversial reform. Where the finals will take place at the end of a year over a week in a neutral location. The driving force behind the changes to the Davis Cup is Kosmos. An investment company founded by Barcelona footballer Gerald Pique. Kosmos has pledged to invest $3 billion over 25 years.

“I love the Fed Cup and I would never change that,” Reuters News quoted Halep as telling reporters in Eastbourne on Monday.
“If Fed Cup changes I won’t play any more. I like the format now so if they change, it will be tough because Fed Cup means to play home and away.”

Halep helped guide Romania to the semi-finals of the Fed Cup this year in what has been their best performance since 1973. Overall, she has won 22 out of 32 matches played since her debut back in 2010.

“To play at home, it’s the best feeling,” she said.
“I’ve played many years in Fed Cup and the best feeling is to be at home with all the people that come to support and also away you have to manage the emotions and the pressure.”

Earlier this month, ITF president Davis Haggerty vowed to revamp the Fed Cup in order to keep it in line with the men’s equivalent. Although he hasn’t outline an exact date as to when this will take place. Haggerty is seeking re-election this year and has outlined his plans in his manifesto.

“Fed Cup reform is a key focus of the Board in 2019, with the ambition to implement a similar Fed Cup World Cup of Tennis with a minimum of 16 teams in the World Group 2020 and to play one round of qualifying and an eight or 12-team Fed Cup Final in April 2020 in one location. This also aligns with the ITF Gender Equality initiative that we introduced in 2018 and continues to ensure tennis is a welcoming sport.” Sport Business quoted Haggerty as saying.

On Thursday an announcement is expected to be made about the future of the Fed Cup by the ITF in a press conference.

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‘Devastated’ British No.3 Katie Boulter Withdraws From Wimbledon

There is bad news for home fans at this year’s Wimbledon Championships.

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Katie Boulter (photo by Chryslène Caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

One of Britain’s top female players has said they are ‘absolutely devastated’ to withdraw from the Wimbledon Championships after failing to recover in time from injury.

 

Katie Boulter confirmed on Sunday that she has decided to withdraw from the grand slam following medical advice. The world No.127 hasn’t played a match since the Fed Cup back in April due to a back injury. Pulling out of French Open, where she still received a payment of £20,000, as well as a series of grass-court events.

‘As you are all aware, I’ve recently been recovering from a back injury that I suffered during Great Britain’s Fed Cup victory back in April,’ Boulter said in a statement published on social media.
‘The road to recovery has had its ups and downs; at various points along the way I’ve been very close to getting back on court and competing, but unfortunately I’m not quite ready in time for Wimbledon, and on the advice of my medical team, I’ve made the decision to give my recovery a couple more weeks.”

Boulter has been ranked as high as 82nd in the world and claimed two ITF titles in 2018. However, she is yet to achieve such success so far this season. Failing to win back-to-back main draw matches at six consecutive tournaments prior to her back injury.

‘I am absolutely devastated to be missing my home Grand Slam and the opportunity to play in front of our incredible fans but sadly I won’t be 100% fit.’ Boulter explained.
‘Wimbledon is the most special tournament of the year for me and I can’t wait to get back on the grass courts next year. I’d like to thank everyone for their support over the past few months; it’s only motivated me to come back stronger.’

The 22-year-old made her main draw grand slam debut in Wimbledon back in 2017 where she lost in the first round to Christina McHale. 12 months later she won her first ever grand slam match at the All England Club when she defeated Aleksandra Krunic.

The Wimbledon Championships will get underway a week on Monday.

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