Top-20 Doubles Player Given Suspended Sentence Over ‘Illegal’ Tweet - UBITENNIS
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Top-20 Doubles Player Given Suspended Sentence Over ‘Illegal’ Tweet

The sentenced issued to the Colombian star has drawn controversy among social media.

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Robert Farah (zimbio.com)

The Tennis Integrity Unit has issued a 3-month suspended sentence to Colombian tennis player Robert Farah for breaking anti-corruption rules.

 

Farah, who is currently ranked 16th in the doubles, have been found guilty of ‘promoting a gambling website on social media.’ The incident involves one specific tweet in which he endorsed an online betting company. The TIU has concluded that this single tweet was in violation of Section D.1.b of the TACP, which states that:

“No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any other person to wager on the outcome or any other aspect of any Event or any other tennis competition. For the avoidance of doubt, to solicit or facilitate to wager shall include… appearing in commercials encouraging others to bet on tennis.”

Throughout the investigation Farah has fully co-operated with the relevant authorities and deleted the tweet once he was notified about the violation. During an independent hearing, the anti-corruption officer, Ian Mill QC, accepted that it was a ‘genuine mistake’ made by the Colombian player and he wouldn’t do it again.

“When contacted by the Tennis Integrity Unit, Farah removed the post, apologised for his error and co-operated fully with the investigation,” said a TIU statement.

Under the three-month sentence, Farah is allowed to continue playing. Although he will be immediately suspended if he commits another violation. He has also been issued with a $5000 fine.

In the wake of the suspension, the TIU has come under fire for the reasoning for the penalty issued to Farah. On social media, many were quick to point out that tournaments continue to advertise betting companies. Something that is forbidden for players.

Earlier this year Farah reach the final of the men’s doubles tournament at the Australian Open alongside compatriot Juan Sebastián Cabal.  Then at The Italian Open the duo became the first Colombians in history to win a Masters 1000 title.

At this year’s Wimbledon championships, Farah reached the third round in the men’s doubles and the second round in the mixed.

There has been no statement from Farah concerning his punishment.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas leads the line-up at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna

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Stefanos Tsitsipas leads the line-up at the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. The Greek star will play in the Austrian capital for the second time in his career. 

 

Tsitsipas will face 2017 ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov in the first round. The Greek player will be looking to avenge his defeat against his Bulgarian opponent, who took the win in three sets 6-7 6-4 6-4 in their previous head-to-head match at last year’s edition of the Vienna tournament. 

Tsitsipas will be aiming to win his third title this season following his triumphs in Monte-Carlo and Lyon. 

Number 2 seed Alexander Zverev will play in the Erste Bank Open main draw for the second time. This year Zverev won two Masters 1000 titles in Madrid and Cincinnati and the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.

Matteo Berrettini will open his campaign against Alexei Popyrin. The Italian star is the third seed and has a good chance to qualify for the ATP Finals in Turin. This year Berrettini won two titles in Belgrade and Queen’s and reached two finals at the Madrid Masters 1000 and Wimbledon. 

Hubert Hurkacz holds the final qualifying spot for Turin in ninth place with 2955 points, 110 points ahead of Jannik Sinner, who won his fourth title this season in Antwerp following his previous wins in Melbourne, Washington and Sofia. The 20-year-old Italian star also finished runner-up to Hurkacz in his first Masters 1000 final in Miami. 

Sinner has become the first Italian player in history to win four ATP titles in the same season and is the youngest player to win five ATP Tour titles since 19-year-old Novak Djokovic claimed the Estoril trophy in 2007. Sinner will face a tough first round match against Reilly Opelka. 

Sinner dropped just a total of eight games against Lloyd Harris in the semifinal and Diego Schwartzman in the final. 

The line-up also features another Masters 1000 chmpion Cameron Norrie, who won at Indian Wells and is currently ranked 11th in the ATP Race to Turin with 2795 points ahead of this year’s US Open semifinalist Felix Auger Aliassime (2330 points). 

Andy Murray will play in Vienna for the third time in his career as a wild card. Murray won the Austrian tournment twice in 2014 and 2016. He will take on Hurkacz, who won his previous head-to-head matches against the British player in Cincinnati and Metz. Murray beat Frances Tiafoe in a marathon match after 3 hours and 45 minutes in Antwerp last week. 

Kevin Anderson got through to the qualifying round to secure his spot in the main draw. The 2018 Vienna champion will face Alex De Minaur, who won two titles in Antalya and Eastbourne. The top first-round matches are: Diego Schwartzman against Fabio Fognini, Gael Monfils against Lorenzo Musetti, Daniel Evans against Carlos Alcaraz. 

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Ann Li clinches her first WTA Tour title in Tenerife

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Ann Li clinched her first WTA Tour title with a 6-1 6-4 win over 19-year-old Spanish player Camila Osorio after 1 hour and 10 minutes at the Tenerife Ladies Open.

 

Li reached her second final after her first title match against Anett Kontaveit at the Grampians Trophy in Melbourne last winter was not played just before the Australian Open. 

Li converted five of her ten break points and hit 15 winners. Osorio earned her first break in the opening game. Li bounced back by winning six consecutive games with three breaks of serve. The 21-year-old US player hit 8 winners to 6 unforced errors. Li broke Osorio at love with a forehand return winner in the first game of the second set. Osorio got the break straight back in the second game. Li earned the decisive break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead and served out the win with a forehand overhead for 6-4 in the 10th game.

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Aslan Karatsev claims his second title this season at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow

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Aslan Karatsev claimed claimed his second ATP Tour title of the season at the VTB Kremlin Cup in Moscow after his 6-2 6-4 win over 2014 and 2015 Moscow Kremlin Cup champion Marin Cilic in the final after 77 minutes. 

 

Karatsev has kept alive his hopes of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. The Russian player is currently 13th in the ATP Race to Turin with 2280 points, 675 points behind ninth-placed Hubert Hurkacz, who holds the last qualifying spot for Turin. Karatsev reached the semifinals at the Australian Open as a qualifier and won his first title in Dubai last March. 

Karatsev earned an early break in the opening game of the first set. He did not face a break point and dropped just one point on his first serve. 

Karatsev converted his second break point in the seventh game of the second set. He saved a break point before serving out the second set 6-4 in the 10th game. He had never advanced to the third round in his previous appearances at the Kremlin Cup. 

“It is a dream come true. It is a tournament where I have played in qualifying at and now I am winning the tournament. Thank you for all your support. It was a nervous final game. I hit a double and then on break point there was that long rally, but I managed to win it in the end. First of all, I would like to dedicate the win to my parents, my mother and my father, all my relatives and my friends”, said Karatsev.

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