Suspicion of Match Fixing at Wimbledon

Wimbledon is over for another year but at least two matches are still receiving plenty of interest. Not the men’s and women’s singles finals but matches that may possibly have been affected by match-fixing.

The eye is always out for any irregular betting patterns that may take place. During Wimbledon 2021, that happened and now an investigation is taking place to see just what was happening. One singles match and a doubles encounter are already both being reviewed.

There were multiple reports by betting firms that the betting on the matches just didn’t seem right. Just what bets were being placed has yet to be revealed but there are some details known.
The men’s doubles match saw plenty of bets being placed wanting to see the favourites be beaten. Now there is always going to be bets of that nature, but the number of live bets placed wanting the outsiders to win was higher than usual.

It was the favourites who took the first set so the odds on the other duo increased. That was the last set that the favourites won though, and their opponents went on to win the rest of the sets and win the match. The timing of the bets against the favourites and the volume of them began to increase suspicion that something was amiss.

The other match that will be investigated was a first round singles match, involving a German player. His behaviour seems to be ok but not that of his opponent. At the end of the second set, a five-digit bet on the exact result of the match was placed.
That isn’t the only suspicious betting surrounding this match. Other bets, such as the number of service games to be played were also not just made but turned out to be winners.

Now it’s the job of the International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) to investigate the matches. An ITIA spokesperson confirmed with the BBC that they had received two alerts “indicating possible irregular betting patterns.” The spokesperson added that an alert “is not evidence of match-fixing” but where “analysis of a match alert does suggest corrupt activity, the ITIA conducts a full and confidential investigation.”

There have been 11 alerts of possible match-fixing this year. Nine of those took part in matches played on the ITF circuit, the others being at ATP 250 events.

In April of this year, Argentinian tennis player Franco Feitt was banned for life from the sport. He admitted to several match-fixing incidents between 2014 and 2018. He was also fined £25,000. His name may be unfamiliar to you as his highest singles ranking was 920.