Sunday, June 22, 2008

UK media says 4 matches fixed at '07 Wimbledon

The third Grand Slam of the year, Wimbledon 2008, starts from Monday but allegations of match-fixing threatens the world's premier tennis tournament.

British media reports claiming a match-fixing scandal during the tournament has put a big shadow on the world's premier grass court event.

An article in the Sunday Times reports that eight matches were fixed by a gambling syndicate, that included four matches from last year's singles fixtures.

Each of the fixed matches featured foreign players all of whom lost in three sets.

Five of the losing players from the reported eight Wimbledon games listed in the dossier are in this year's men's singles competition.

The matches are named in a dossier compiled by leading bookmaking companies, which monitor suspect betting patterns and players thought to be willing to throw games.

The matches raised suspicion because of the disproportionately high sums of money being bet on them.

Incidentally, security measures have been beefed up in an unprecedented manner at this year's tournament that include banning anyone other than the players' personal coaches into the changing rooms of the All England Club.

Reacting to the match-fixing scandal former India Davis Cup player Akhtar Ali said, "Betting in Wimbledon is always open. Match-fixing is not at the top level. Everyone is saying match-fixing but nothing is coming out of it. It is not match-fixing but if a player comes to know that the other guy is not well, so he goes and says 'that chap cannot give his 100 per cent'. Also this match-fixing has only started now."

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