head of a first-round match between the pairings of Lara Arruabarrena/David Marrero and Andrea Hlavackova/Lukasz Kubot, unusually large sums were wagered on what would normally be considered a relatively obscure contest, Marco Blume, head of sportsbook at Pinnacle Sports, is quoted as saying in the New York Times.
Nearly all of the money, Blume said, came down for Hlavackova and Kubot, which he said was an indication that the match might be fixed. Blume notified the police in Australian state of Victoria, where the tournament is being held.
Hlavackova and Kubot won, 6-0, 6-3, with the first set lasting just 20 minutes. A spokeswoman for the International Tennis Federation said the organization had not been notified of any suspicious activity while Nigel Willerton of the Tennis Integrity Unit, the sport’s internal watchdog, said in an email to the New York Times that it would not comment about the match.
Blume said however: “We saw a small number of people placing a large amount of money.”
More than $25,000 had also been wagered on the match via betting exchange Betfair. Three other mixed doubles matches scheduled for similar times on Sunday had generated less than $2,000 combined.
Betfair spokesman James Midmer said: “We have a specialist team who monitor our markets and work closely with sports governing bodies, including the TIU, to investigate any suspicious betting patterns that arise. Due to the nature of this team’s work, we can’t comment on speculation surrounding individual sports and events.”
Losing player Marrero said after the game that he was not able to play his best tennis "against a female opponent” in Hlavackova, and also cited a knee injury.
Marrero and his partner Arruabarrena said they had not told anyone about Marrero’s injury except their coaches, tournament doctors and another pair of Spanish players but that it was possible that a spectator could have noticed that Marrero was affected by the injury in practice on Saturday.
“Someone had to know this,” Arruabarrena said.