End Live Streaming Of Low Level Tournaments To Fight Corruption, Says Report - UBITENNIS
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End Live Streaming Of Low Level Tournaments To Fight Corruption, Says Report

The panel has cleared the governing bodies of tennis of any wrongdoing, but states that there is a ‘serious integrity problem.’



ITF tournaments where the prize money is in the range of $15,000 should not have live data available in order to combat match-fixing, according to an independent report.

The Independent Review Panel (IRP) has delivered their final verdict following a lengthy investigation into corruption in the sport. The creation of the IRP was triggered following a 2016 joint news report by the BBC and Buzzfeed News that alleged match-fixing was widespread in the sport. An allegation that the governing bodies of tennis has firmly denied.

“Today, tennis faces a serious integrity problem,” the panel said. “There are several reasons for this: The nature of the game lends itself to manipulation for betting purposes.
“There are many contingencies. There is only one player who must act. Detection is difficult, not least because at many lower level matches there are no spectators and inadequate facilities to protect players from potential corrupters.
“Moreover, under-performance is often attributed to ‘tanking’, which too often has been tolerated.”

Findings has identified that the lowest level tournaments on the tour are the most prone to corruption due to the limited amount of money available to players. Hence the argument for the data of those events to not be reported live. A previous recommendation had said that this should apply to all ITF events with the prize money value of up to $25,000, but a review has found those in the $15,000 category post a far greater risk.

Sportradar currently has a $70 million contract with the ITF regarding data-rights of their tournaments. The company has previously hit back at the findings, by arguing that a total wipe-out of live data would create a ‘black market.’

“We welcome the fact that the Panel has reversed their recommendation to discontinue sale of live data at the $25k level of the sport, however we believe that they could and should have gone further.” Said David Lampitt, Managing Director of Group Operations at Sportradar.

The report has also called for all tournaments to not be sponsored by betting companies. Noting that the ITF already has a rule in place that prohibits this at their events. Calls have now been made for both the ATP and WTA to follow suit. However, the IRP said that any move to do so should be subjected to an ongoing assessment. Acknowledging that if the removal of sponsorships with betting companies has a negative impact on the sport, it can be reversed.

“The Panel considers that if betting sponsorships are allowed in the future, then the International Governing Bodies themselves should not take such sponsorships and they should make it an enforceable requirement that a specified and substantial, and not merely nominal, proportion of any value received from any sponsorship taken by an event they endorse must be spent on the protection of integrity, in a verifiable and approved manner.”

It has also been concluded that there have been no cover-up in corruption by the sport’s governing bodies. The ATP, WTA , ITF, and the Grand Slam Board have all pledged to implement the recommendations set out in a timely fashion.

The full report by the IRP can be read at http://tennisirp.com.


Wrist Injury Threatening To End Holger Rune’s Olympic Dream



Holger Rune will have a second medical opinion on Monday before deciding if he is fit enough to play at the Olympic Games, according to his team. 

The Danish world No.17 recently retired from his quarter-final match at the Hamburg Open due to a knee injury. The hope at the time was that his withdrawal would be just a precautionary measure ahead of the Olympics. However, he is also dealing with a second issue that appears to be more serious.

According to TV 2 Sport, Rune has been struggling with a wrist issue and underwent a scan on Sunday which his mother Aneke says ‘doesn’t look promising.’ Aneke is also the manager of her son’s career. Rune’s Olympic dreams now rest on the outcome of a second medical expert that he will visit tomorrow who has a better understanding of the sport. 

“Unfortunately, it does not look promising after the first medical opinion after the review of the scan of the wrist,” Aneke Rune told TV 2 Sport.

“We are waiting for two tennis-specific doctors who will give a second opinion tomorrow (Monday). Tennis wrists look different from regular wrists, so we’ll hold out hope for one more day.” 

Rune is one of three Danish players entered into the Olympic tennis event along with Caroline Wozniacki and Clara Tauson. The country has only won one medal in tennis before which was at the 1912 Games when Sofie Castenschiold won silver in the women’s indoor singles event. 

So far this season, the 21-year-old has won 27 matches on the Tour but is yet to claim a title. He reached the final of the Brisbane International and then the semi-finals of three more events. In the Grand Slams, he made it to the fourth round of the French Open and Wimbledon. 

It is not known when a final decision regarding Rune’s participation in Paris will be made.

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Hubert Hurkacz Undergoes ‘Knee Procedure’ Ahead of Olympic Bid



Poland’s top player on the ATP Tour is not giving up on his dream of winning a medal at the Olympic Games despite recently undergoing a medical procedure.

World No.7 Hubert Hurkacz suffered a knee injury during his second round clash at Wimbledon against France’s Arthur Fils. In the fourth set tiebreak of their clash, Hurkacz dived for a shot but landed badly on his knee and required on-court medical attention. He then played two more points before retiring from the match. 

In a social media post published on Wednesday, the  27-year-old confirmed he underwent a procedure on his knee earlier this week but didn’t provide any further details.  Although Hurkacz has stated his intention to play at the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris, where the tennis event will be held on the clay at Roland Garros. 

“I had a knee procedure this Monday, but I’m feeling better already and my team and are dedicating extensive time each day to the rehab process.” He wrote on Instagram. 

“It’s a dream for every athlete to represent their country at the Olympics, and I want to make sure I am fully fit and ready before making the final decision to step on court. The aim is not only to participate, but to win a medal for my country.”

So far this season Hurkacz has won 34 out of 48 matches played on the Tour. He won the Estoril Open in April and was runner-up to Jannik Sinner in Halle. 

The Olympic tennis event is scheduled to begin a week Saturday on July 27th. Poland is yet to win a medal in the event but expectations are high with women’s No.1 Iga Swiatek also taking part. 

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Krejcikova Comes Alive With Her Serve To Win 12th Grand Slam Title At Wimbledon



image via x.com/wimbledon

It must have seemed like the whole world was against her when Barbora Krejcikova served for the match for a third time against crowd favorite Jasmine Paolini.

But Krejcikova was only going for her 12th Grand Slam title. She was well prepared.

So, she released her patented way-out-wide serve to the smallish Paolini’s backhand, and the best the Italian could do was get her racket on the ball enough to return the serve far off the court, long and wide.


The weight of the world was gone as Krejcikova threw her arms over her head and calmly walked to the net to greet the Wimbledon runner-up.

Now, Krejcikova was half-way home to a career Grand Slam in singles. She already owns a career Grand Slam in doubles among her dozen Grand Slam titles that also include one mixed doubles Grand Slam title.

She has won the hard ones, the French Open on clay and Wimbledon on grass.

At 28 years old, anything must look possible to this 5-10 Czech.


Paolini simply was out played in a second straight Grand Slam final, on clay and on grass. Now she faces the real tests, two straight Grand Slam tournaments on hard surfaces that might not be overly friendly to the 5-4 Paolini.

But there it was, a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 victory for Krejcikova on Wimbledon’s famed Center Court.

After what might be called a throw-away second set for Krejcikova, she came alive in the third set, pinning Paolini to the deep corners while nailing low hard-hit balls to both corners.

Krejcikova got off to 40-0 starts on her first four service games of the decisive set and ended all four with service winners to take a 5-3 lead (with the aid of the only service break of the third set). She yielded only one point in those four service games, a double fault at 40-0 that was followed by an ace.

Of course, it was the serve again that saved the day for Krejcikova and gave her set points two and three, then sealed the deal for a spot in Wimbledon history.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at Jamesbecktennis@gmail.com. 

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