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Match-fixing suspicions raised in Wimbledon first round

Possible signs of match-fixing have been flagged in the first round of a men’s doubles match at this year’s Wimbledon, report various US media outlets.

It is detailed that online global bookmaker Pinnacle Sports has subsequently confirmed that the match was “flagged as suspicious due to irregular betting patterns,” after “a series of bets from accounts with a history of wagering on suspicious matches” were placed in the immediate build up.

The New York Times has named the match in question as that involving Spanish paid David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco, who fell to a 7-6 6-4 6-7 6-1 defeat against João Sousa and Leonardo Mayer, of Portugal and Argentina respectively, last week.

Speaking to ABC, Pinnacle’s Sports Integrity Manager Sam Gomersall stated that “we would anticipate some minor odds movement in any tennis match”.

Before adding: “We followed our strict protocol when it comes [to] match-fixing alerts by notifying the authorities on site at Wimbledon and reducing our market offering immediately.”

It is reported that Association of Tennis Professional (ATP) has referred the matter onto the Tennis Integrity Unit, who said in a statement “The TIU has become more transparent, hence our publication of [quarterly] match alert data, but that is also balanced against the need for operational confidentiality, as in this matter”.

This follows news in May that Argentine Nicolás Kicker had been found guilty of match-fixing offences, as announced by the TIU, making him the highest ranking player at that time to be convicted.

Made hours before the draw for the French Open, Kicker was subsequently removed and a month later was handed a $25,000 fine and six-year ban, three of which are suspended on a probationary basis.