Unusual betting patterns arouse suspicion at Australian Open

David Marrero.

AN OBSCURE match-up at the Australian Open attracted such large sum of money in wagers that betting firm Pinnacle Sports suspended betting on the January 24 doubles game. 

Czech and Polish duo Andrea Hlavackova and Lukasz Kubot destroyed the Spanish team of Lara Arruabarrena and David Marrero 6-0, 6-3, after the website saw a small number of people place a huge amount against the Spaniards. 

“We saw a small number of people placing a large amount of money,” Marco Blume of the global betting website told the New York Times. He later went on to inform the Victoria police department. 

All players deny any element of match-fixing with Kubot insisting his opponents had given their all, while Marrero claimed he was suffering from a knee injury. 

The news regarding the first round doubles match-up attracted the attention of the anti-corruption Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) which has spoken with the players but declined to comment on specific allegations. 

“The TIU has again confirmed today that it is its policy to review and investigate every allegation of corruption in tennis. The TIU does not comment on the progress of any investigation until and unless there is a sanction determined.” 

This year’s Australian Open has been somewhat tainted by match-fixing accusations levelled against 16 players dating back years by the BBC and Buzzfeed in a joint investigation. 

Although no specific charges have been brought, or individual players highlighted as yet, the affair has cast a dark shadow over world tennis, with the final consequences far from clear. 

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