Fixing scandal hits in the wake of Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Jan 6: A match-fixing charge in Australia has underlined concerns about corruption in tennis ahead of the year’s opening Grand Slam, with top players frustrated at another scandal hitting the sport.
Police said an 18-year-old had been charged with match-fixing at a tournament in Victoria last October and would appear in court in March.
Australian media on Friday named him as Oliver Anderson, an emerging star who is the reigning Australian Open boys champion.
The claim, just days before the world’s leading players assemble in Melbourne for the first Grand Slam of the season, related to a first-round match at the second-tier Traralgon Challenger event.
World number one Andy Murray, playing in the Qatar Open in Doha, said he had read about the case and that although he did not want to comment on the specifics, corruption must be tackled.
“It’s disappointing for the game any time something like that comes out,” said Murray.
“However, if people are caught and charged, I see that as being a positive thing.
“If it’s going on and nothing is happening about it that’s much worse for the future of the sport.
“So, if it’s happening, there should be the most severe punishments for whoever is involved in it.”
He was backed by rival Novak Djokovic, also in Doha, who said he was saddened by the news.
“Very disappointing to hear, especially considering the fact that he’s young and won the junior Grand Slam,” said Djokovic.
“You know, obviously the quality is there and the potential is there.
“I don’t understand why he has done it,” he said, before adding: “Everyone makes mistakes.”
Fourteen-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal said the latest police case showed the fight against match-fixing was working.
“You get tired about this kind of stuff, but the most important thing is (to) fight against these kind of things,” he told reporters at the Brisbane International tournament.
“And he is young. That’s even the worst part.” AFP