Three Months On, The Tennis Integrity Unit Finally Defends Whistleblower Trungelliti - UBITENNIS
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Three Months On, The Tennis Integrity Unit Finally Defends Whistleblower Trungelliti

The anti-corruption body have spoken out about their investigation involving the Argentine player for the first time.

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Marco Trungelliti (photo by chryslène caillaud Copyright : @Sport Vision)

The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has said they ‘condemn’ the treatment Argentine tennis player Marco Trungelliti received following his collaboration in a match-fixing investigation.

 

In February an exclusive interview by newspaper La Nacion revealed that the 29-year-old has played an instrumental role in an anti-corruption investigation. Testifying against some of his fellow compatriots. The most notable being Nicolas Kicker, who was ranked 84th in the world at the time of his ban. He was also a key witness that led to the suspension of two other players from his country.

“The TIU understand that Mr Trungelliti has subsequently been subject to strong personal criticism and that his motives for co-operating with the TIU have been questioned.” A statement from the anti-corruption body reads.
“The TIU unreservedly condemns the treatment received by Mr Trungelliti and would like to place on record its appreciation of his support and full compliance with the TACP.”

The complex case started in 2015 when Trungelliti contacted authorities after being approached by a fixer who posed as a sponsor. Speaking with the TIU about the incident, he detailed everything that he knew about the individual. Outlining the value of the bribes which ranged from $3000 for Futures matches to a maximum of $100,000 on the ATP Tour. The fixer named the players who he had previously collaborated with, which was the trio of Argentines that ended up being suspended.

Whilst the efforts of the world No.130 has been praised by many, he said that he has been ‘used’ by authorities. As a result of the investigations, Trungelliti said he has received a hostile reception from some of his fellow player’s on the tour. Revelling that they have stopped talking to him all together and questioned his motives.

“They just used me,” he told The Associated Press on April 17th. “They just dropped me in the middle of the sea.”
“It was a disaster, disaster. In my opinion, it was one of the worst procedures that I have ever seen,” he adds. “I’m still paying the price.”

The TIU’s most recent statement is a positive step, but some will question why it has taken so long for a response. Trungelliti’s situation was first reported by Argentine media nearly three months ago on February 10th. In April they told the Associated Press that they couldn’t comment because of its ‘long-standing confidentiality policy with regard to disciplinary hearings and witness evidence.’ Even though it was public knowledge.

“Mr Trungelliti has acted with the highest level of integrity and with the best interests of the sport in mind. His courageous and principled stand against those who seek to corrupt is to be admired and commended.” The TIU said.

Despite the roller coaster process he had to endure, Trungelliti has insisted that he will continue to fight match-fixing in the sport. Vowing to even go through another investigation alongside the TIU if he needs to. As to the extent of the problem, he believes it continues to be widespread despite efforts made in recent years to fight it.

“It’s not just the players’ problem,” he says. “There are a lot of coaches involved. A lot. A lot. More than we think.
“If you are weak mentally, then you go in, you are all in, for sure, because it’s easy money,” he says. “If you think about it, this is like one hour working for one hundred thousand dollars.”

Players suspended with the help of Trungelliti

  • Nicolas Kicker (ranking high of 67th) – Six-year ban with three of those being suspended
  • Patricio Heras (ranking high of 463rd) – Five-year ban with two of those being suspended
  • Federico Coria (ranking high of 170) – Eight-month ban with two of those being suspended

 

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Grigor Dimitrov Blames Poor Monte Carlo Performance On ‘Big Infection’

The 29-year-old reveals the reason behind his error-stricken performance at the Monte Carlo Country Club on Thursday.

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Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov said he simply ‘didn’t play’ in his latest match at the Monte Carlo Masters after winning just two games against Rafael Nadal.

 

The world No.17 fell 6-1, 6-1, to the 20-time Grand Slam champion in less than an hour on Thursday. He won 48% of his first service points and 32% of his second, as he hit 32 unforced errors. A dismal performance from Dimitrov who had beaten Jan-Lennard Struff and Jeremy Chardy earlier in the tournament.

Whilst it was never going to be easy playing somebody of Nadal’s calibre, Dimitrov has revealed that he had been troubled by an issue away from the court. He has been suffering from a ‘big infection’ in his tooth which has had an impact on his preparation for the match.

“I’ve been struggling with a massive tooth problem for the past four or five days,” he said. “I have a big infection in my tooth. It’s been hard. I haven’t been able to sleep well or eat well or anything like that.’
“I was bearing it for a while this whole week.”

It is another case of bad luck for Dimitrov on the Tour this season. At the Australian Open he reached the quarter-finals in what was his best Grand Slam performance since the 2019 US Open. However, in his last eight showdown with Russia’s Aslan Karatsev he was hindered by a back injury.

“It’s straight to the doctor’s, unfortunately,” he commented on his tooth. “Very, very unpleasant moment. It is what it is.’
“At least I’m glad it happened on a home soil so I can go see my dentist and figure this problem as soon as possible.Hopefully it’s not too serious and I’ll be able to come back as soon as possible.”

Speaking in his press conference, Nadal said he ‘felt sorry’ for his opponent who ‘played a bad match.’ During the match the world No.3 wasn’t aware of Dimitrov’s problem but was told about it afterwards.

“I wish him all the best. He’s a great guy, a good friend. I just hope the situation is to improve as soon as possible,” he said.

Nadal, who is seeking a record 12th title in Monte Carlo, will play Russia’s Andrey Rublev next.

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Dan Evans Fires Back At ‘No Manners’ Musetti

30-year-old Evans says he is not happy with recent comments the Italian has said about him.

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British No.1 Dan Evans has branded fellow player Lorenzo Musetti ‘disrespectful’ after recording the most high-profile win of his career at the Monte Carlo Masters on Thursday.

 

The world No.33 stunned Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, in what is his first ever win over a member of the prestigious Big Three. A trio that consists of Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. What is even more remarkable is that Evan’s victory took place on the clay. A surface which he hadn’t won a Tour match on since 2017 prior to this week.

Speaking to reporters following his win over the world No.1, Evans was questioned about what was the difference between his match against Musetti last week and his performance in Monte Carlo. Prompting the Brit to hit out at the Italian who is dubbed as one of the rising stars of the Tour.

“How he spoke last week was embarrassing,” Evans said. “Let’s not talk about Musetti in my press conference.
“Last week he said some things in the Italian press about me that was disrespectful.
Musetti, if he apologises, I will answer. He’s a good tennis player, but he’s got no manners.”

The fallout between the two started last week after Musetti won their match at the Sardegna Open. Saving four match points in the final tiebreaker en route to the victory. Afterwards, the 19-year-old accused his rival of disrespecting him on the court.

“There are respectful experienced players on the court,” he said. “Others like Evans, they try to use my youth to (win) matches.
“But it’s all experience for me. Evans disrespected me. I don’t want to be treated like a young man.”

Whilst the two tennis players are unlikely to be friends anytime soon, Evans did praise the recent performance of his rival. Musetti is the youngest player in the top 100 on the men’s Tour and is one of only two players aged 19. The other is compatriot Jannik Sinner.

“He played very well last week. I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t take the match points. It’s just tennis. Yeah, he could do with learning some manners.” He concluded.

Evans is through to the quarter-finals of a Masters 1000 tournament for the first time in his career. Awaiting him in the next round is 11th seed David Goffin who defeated Alexander Zverev in his third round match.

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New Setback Forces Dominic Thiem Out Of Belgrade

The Austrian tennis star has written a blog post on his website titled ‘my knee hurts!”

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Dominic’s Thiem’s return to the Tour has been postponed for a second time due to a physical problem which he recently visited a doctor about.

 

The US Open champion has confirmed that he is currently suffering from pain in his knee and has decided to pull out of next week’s Belgrade Open. An ATP 250 event which will be headlined by world No.1 Novak Djokovic. It is unclear as to what kind of injury Thiem is suffering from or when the pain started. Earlier this year he confirmed that he had been suffering from a long-standing foot issue which gives him intermittent pain. Although there is no indication that these are linked in anyway.

“2021 just doesn’t want to get going. Unfortunately I will have to cancel my start at next week’s tournament in Novak Djokovic’s hometown Belgrade,” Thiem wrote in a statement. “My knee hurts and I went to see a doctor. It is not a big issue but I need to take care of it. I am definitely not fit enough to play next week.”

Earlier this month Thiem delayed his expected return to the Tour at this week’s Monte Carlo Masters because he was ‘not 100% yet.’ In a blog post on his website the Austrian admitted that he had ‘a lot of work to do’ and ‘tough weeks’ ahead. Thiem hasn’t played a match since the Dubai Tennis Championships after deciding to take a break from the sport in order to reset himself.

The hope for the world No.4 is that he will be back on track and ready to play at the Madrid Open which will begin on April 30th with the ultimate goal remaining to be back to full fitness at the French Open. Thiem’s most successful Grand Slam where he has reached finals in 2018 and 2019.

“I want to be completely fit at the beginning of May and play proper tennis,” he states.
“There is something positive, though: Coach Nicolas Massu arrived in Austria yesterday, we are going to continue my program even though at the moment we have to be careful. In the meantime I have also been working on my physical fitness with sports scientist Mike Reinprecht.’
“There is no doubt, the big goal till the summer are the French Open – in Paris I must be at my best.”

So far this season Thiem has only won back-to-back matches in one out of four tournaments played. Doing so at the Australian Open where he reached the fourth round before losing to Grigor Dimitrov. Since then he has suffered second round losses in Doha and Dubai. His win-loss record for 2021 currently stands at 5-4.

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