Last year it was a player poisoning investigation; this year it’s suspicious betting patterns. The Tennis Integrity Unit revealed on Wednesday that three matches at Wimbledon triggered alerts for match-fixing, including one match from the main draw of the tournament.
TIU reports match-fixing alerts every quarter and revealed 53 suspicious matches in total, so alerts are fairly common. However, they don’t usually occur in a tournament as prestigious as Wimbledon, where Roger Federer and Garbiñe Muguruza took home singles titles last week.
From Buzzfeed’s John Templon:
Still, the three alerts from tennis’s most famous tournament represent a striking development. Most alerts, which are passed along to the sport’s authorities by major betting operators, involve play at lower levels of competition. Alerts about matches in tennis’s top tiers are rare; this is only the second time one has been announced about Wimbledon.
I think we know which match Daniil Medvedev thinks was fixed.
It’s important to note there’s no concrete evidence of match-fixing yet. An occurrence like unexpected weather conditions or an injury can create unusual betting patterns. So an alert is simply that—an alert. Now investigators will dig to see if any foul play actually happened.
Last year, Buzzfeed and the BBC discovered that tennis authorities had been brushing match-fixing evidence under the rug for years. Since then, the sport has attempted to strengthen its integrity, doubling the TIU staff.
Through the first half of 2017, the number of match-fixing alerts has dropped substantially. There have been 83 so far this year compared to 121 for the same period in 2016.