Moroccan Player Found Guilty Of 135 Match-Fixing Offenses - UBITENNIS
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Moroccan Player Found Guilty Of 135 Match-Fixing Offenses

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Image via https://www.itia.tennis/

A former top 500 doubles player has been handed a lifetime ban after an investigation by the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) found him guilty of a record number of match-fixing violations.  

Younes Rachidi has been found guilty of 135 offences which is the highest number committed by an individual in the history of both the ITIA and its predecessor (TIU). The 36-year-old Moroccan achieved a ranking high of 473 in the doubles but hasn’t played a competitive match on the Tour since 2017. 

In a statement, the ITIA described Rachidi’s breaches as ‘egregious’ and has also fined him $34,000 in addition to his ban. He is now prohibited from playing in, coaching at or attending any tennis event authorized or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis. The multiple offences are linked to five separate clauses of the 2017 and 2018 Tennis Anti-Corruption Programmes (TACP) :-

  • D.1.d: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive or attempt to contrive the outcome or any other aspect of any Event.
  • D.1.e: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or facilitate any Player to not use his or her best efforts in any Event.
  • D.1.f: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or accept any money, benefit or  Consideration with the intention of negatively influencing a Player’s best efforts in any Event.
  • D.1.g: No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, offer or provide any money, benefit or Consideration to any other Covered Person with the intention of negatively influencing a Player’s best efforts in any Event.
  • D.2.a.i: In the event any Player is approached by any person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or Consideration to a Player to (i) influence the outcome or any other aspect of any Event, or (ii) provide Inside Information, it shall be the Player’s obligation to report such incident to the TIU [Now ITIA] as soon as possible.

The case, which was overseen by Anti-Corruption Hearing Office Janie Soublière, has linked Rachidi with two Algerian players who have also been banned from the sport.

Mohamed Hassan has been banned for life from the sport and fined $12,000 after being found guilty of 29 offences relating to seven matches between 2016 and 2018.

Meanwhile, Houria Boukholda has been banned for two years (with 18 months suspended) and fined $10,000 (with $9,000 suspended) for 15 offences relating to five matches in 2017 and 2018. Boukholda’s penalty was significantly less due to his age at the time of the incidents and an investigation found he was heavily influenced by Hassan. 

The trio of players had been under investigation as part of a police law enforcement operation conducted in Belgium along with the ITIA. 

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Jelena Ostapenko beats Greer Minnen to reach the second round at Eastbourne

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Number 6 seed Jelena Ostapenko beat Belgian qualifier Greet Minnen 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 after 1 hour and 29 minutes to secure a spot in the second round at the Rothesay international in Eastbourne. 

Ostapenko won the Eastbourne title in 2021 and reached the 2022 final before losing to Petra Kvitova. 

Minnen led by a break three times and served for the set at 5-4 and 6-5 but Ostapenko pulled back on serve each time. 

Ostapenko fired a backhand crosscourt winner to earn three set points at 6-3 in the tie-break. The Latvian player converted his first chance with a forehand return winner. 

Both players traded breaks in the first two games of the second set. Ostapenko earned a second break in the third game, but she took an off court medical time-out after a fall at 3-1 in the second set. 

Ostapenko recovered by winning four consecutive games with two breaks to win the second set 6-1. 

“Grass is a great surface, but sometimes it can be slippery and really tricky. So I took the medical time-out just to make sure I am fine”, said Ostapenko.  

 “I think the surface suits me really well. The first I played on grass, I was like: ‘How can we play tennis on this surface ? I don’t understand what’s happening here, but then every year was better and better”, said Ostapenko. 

British wild card Harriet Dart battled past former Wimbledon quarter finalist Marie Bouzhkova 7-5 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 after 3 hours and 29 minutes in the third-longest match on the WTA Tour this year. 

Bouzhkova broke twice in the third and fifth games to open up a 4-1 lead, but Dart won six of the next seven games with three breaks of serve to win the first set 7-5. 

Dart fought back from 1-4 down to force a tie-break with two breaks of serve in the sixth and eighth games. The British player never held a match point in the second set. Bouzhkova converted her fourth set point to seal the tie-break 9-7 after a 88-minute second set. 

After a trade of breaks at the start of the third set, Dart earned a decisive break in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. The British wild card saved a break point at 4-3 en route to the win. 

Dart was scheduled to face 2022 Wimbeldon champion Elena Rybakina, but the Kazakh player withdrew from the tournament on Monday due to a change of schedule. Dart will face wild card Sofia Kenin, who won the Australian Open title and reached the final at Roland Garros in 2020.  

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(VIDEO) What A Weekend For Italian Tennis!

Ubitennis founder Ubaldo Scanagatta looks back on this week’s action on the ATP Tour.

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Jannik Sinner – ATP Halle 2024 (foto via Twitter @atptour)

It has been a memorable Sunday for Italian tennis with the country winning two titles on the ATP Tour. 

In Halle, world No.1 Jannik Sinner claimed his first trophy on the grass with a hard-fought two-set win over Hubert Hurkacz. There was also success in the doubles tournament with top seeds Simone Bolelli and Andrea Vavassori winning the title. Meanwhile, in London, Lorenzo Musetti was unable to make it a hatrick of wins for his country after losing in the final of the Cinch Championships to Tommy Paul.  

So how much can be read into these wins and should we be expecting similar results at Wimbledon which begins a week tomorrow? 

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Jannik Sinner reaches the first grass final of his career in Halle

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Jannik Sinner overcame Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6 (7-3) to reach the first final of his career on grass at the Terra Wortmann in Halle. Sinner achieved his best result on this surface when he reached the semifinal at Wimbledon in 2023. 

Sinner will face a final against his friend Hubert Hurkacz, who beat Alexander Zverev 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 in the first semifinal. The Italian player converted his only break point in the ninth game and fended off the only break point he faced at 5-6 in the second set with a forehand winner, one of his winners of the match. 

The Italian player earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead. Zhang Zhizhen pulled the mini-break back. Sinner earned two mini-breaks in the fourth and eighth points to win the tie-break 7-3. Sinner won the first of the four tie-breaks he played this week.

Sinner finished the match in straight sets after clinching three consecutive three-set wins at the start of his campaign at this year’s edition of the Terra Wortmann in Halle. 

The world number 1 player won three titles on hard court at the Australian Open, Rotterdam and Miami this year. 

“It means a lot. I had four tough matches to go to the final. It was a good match today. Definitely more rallies than yesterday. And that’s definitely what I needed today. I am happy and let’s see what’s coming tomorrow”, said Sinner.  

Earlier this week Zhang Zhizhen had previously beaten Danil Medvedev in the second round and came back from 2-5 down to beat Christopher Eubanks in the quarter finals. 

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