Player arrested for alleged match-fixing at 2020 French Open


PTI, Jun 4, 2021, 5:05 PM IST

Paris: A tennis player suspected of match-fixing last year has been arrested in Paris during the French Open, the Paris prosecutor’s office said Friday.

According to the French newspaper Le Parisien, which first reported the story, the player is 765th-ranked Yana Sizikova of Russia.

The prosecutor’s office confirmed to The Associated Press that a “women’s international player” was in custody, but it did not identify her.

The player was arrested Thursday night on charges of “sports bribery and organized fraud for acts likely to have been committed in September 2020,” the prosecutor’s office said.

An investigation was opened last October by a French police unit specializing in betting fraud and match-fixing. It has previously worked with Belgian authorities investigating suspected fixed matches at the lower levels of professional tennis.

The prosecutor’s office said the probe centred on suspicions about one match at Roland Garros last year. It did not specify the match.

German newspaper Die Welt and French sports daily L’Equipe said at the time there were suspicious betting patterns in the first round of a women’s doubles match on September 30.

On that day, Sizikova and partner Madison Brengle of the United States played on Court No 10 against Romanian players Andreea Mitu and Patricia Maria Tig. Sizikova was broken to love serving in game five of the second set, during which she double-faulted twice.

Le Parisien reported Friday that tens of thousands of euros were bet with several operators in different countries on the Romanian players winning this game.

The newspaper said that Sizikova was arrested Thursday after losing in the first round of the doubles tournament at Roland Garros. The newspaper said authorities searched Sizikova’s hotel room.

It wasn’t immediately known if Sizikova has an attorney to respond on her behalf.

Last year’s French Open, delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, was played in late September and early October.

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