Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 21st 2016 Contents MELBOURNE --- For the second
time in three days, Novak
Djokovic won a match at the Aus-
tralian Open and was confronted
by questions about match-fixing
in the sport.
The five-time champion had
just beaten 19-year-old French
wild-card entry Quentin Halys 6-
1, 6-2, 7-6 (3) in the second round
yesterday --- his 34th win in his
last 35 matches at Melbourne Park
--- when his news conference
veered to questions about the issue
that has overshadowed the start
of the season s first major.
After his first-round win, on the
day when the BBC and BuzzFeed
News published reports alleging
match-fixing had gone unchecked
in tennis, the No. 1-ranked
Djokovic recalled when a member
of his support team was
approached with an offer to throw
a match in Russia in 2007. That
approach didn t reach him directly,
he said, and was rejected imme-
After his second-round win, he
was asked about an Italian news-
paper report casting doubt over
his performance in a match against
Fabrice Santoro in Paris in 2007.
Djokovic said the speculation
was getting out of control.
"What (is there) to say? I ve lost
that match. I don t know if you re
trying to create a story about that
match or for that matter any of
the matches of the top players los-
ing in the early rounds. I think it s
just absurd," Djokovic said. "It s
Djokovic lost to Santoro 6-3, 6-
2 in the second round of the Paris
Masters indoor tournament in
October 2007. Djokovic, who had
two wisdom teeth removed after
the Madrid Masters earlier that
month, said after the loss to San-
toro that he was not fully fit
because he was still taking med-
The BBC and BuzzFeed reports
said 16 players had been repeatedly
flagged to tennis authorities for
suspicious performances, including
a Grand Slam winner, and half of
them were at this year s Australian
Djokovic has said he didn t
believe any elite players were
involved. Roger Federer agreed,
and said people making the accu-
sations should name names.
Federer extended his streak of
reaching the third round at the
Australian Open to 17 consecutive
years. The four-time Australian
Open champion, playing his 65th
consecutive major, advanced 6-3,
7-5, 6-1 over Alexandr Dolgopolov.
It was Federer s 299th match win
at a major.
He lost in the third round in his
first two trips to Melbourne Park
in 2000 and 01 and again last year
--- in between he won the title four
times and lost one final during a
run of reaching the semifinals or
better in 11 straight years.
"It s the least I expect to be in
the third round of a Slam, obvi-
ously, so I m pumped up, playing
well, feeling good," Federer said.
"But there s always a danger, you
know. Like last year the third round
go further this time."
Federer will next play Grigor
Dimitrov, who beat Marco Trun-
gelliti 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga went to the
aid of a ball girl in his match, gently
helping her off the court in the
third set when she became ill
before finishing off a 7-5, 6-1, 6-
4 win over Omar Jasika.
Other seeded players advancing
included No. 6 Tomas Berdych,
No. 7 Kei Nishikori and 2014 U.S.
Open champion Marin Cilic.
Serena Williams set a record
when she played her 79th main
draw match at the Australian
Open, and beat No. 90-ranked
Hsieh Su-wei 6-1, 6-2.
In the biggest upset of the day,
two-time Wimbledon champion
and sixth-seeded Petra Kvitova
was beaten 6-4, 6-4 by Russian-
born Australian Daria Gavrilova.
Williams next opponent will be
18-year-old Russian Daria Kasatk-
ina, who beat Croatia s Ana Konjuh
6-4, 6-3, and she faces a potential
quarterfinal match against 2015
finalist Maria Sharapova, who
reached the third round with a 6-
2, 6-1 win over Aliaksandra Sas-
No. 13 Roberta Vinci beat Irina
Falconi 6-2, 6-3 to advance, and
is a potential fourth-round rival
for No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska,
who beat Eugenie Bouchard 6-4,
6-2 in a match featuring two for-
mer Wimbledon finalists. (AP)
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, January 21, 2016
Novak Djokovic of Serbia reacts after winning a point against Quentin
Halys of France during their second round match at the Australian
Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday. AP
MELBOURNE --- Around the world,
players, commentators and fans
echoed the call of Roger Federer, who
wants to know names of those sus-
pected of match-fixing in a growing
scandal that one ex-pro described as
a "major wake-up call for the world
Many called for clarity, saying the
public and players have a right to know
who is suspected of cheating. Others
warned that the match-fixing scandal
has the potential to damage the repu-
tation of tennis, just like doping or cor-
ruption scandals have hurt professional
cycling, athletics, baseball and soccer.
Martina Navratilova, the 18-time
Grand Slam champion, tweeted: "We
need facts, not suppositions."
The scandal broke Monday when the
BBC and BuzzFeed News published
reports --- timed for the start of the
Australian Open --- alleging that tennis
authorities have ignored widespread
evidence of match-fixing involving 16
tennis players who have ranked in the
top 50 over the past decade.
BuzzFeed titled its story, "The Tennis
Racket," and said that half of those 16,
including a Grand Slam winner, were
at this year s Australian Open.
"This really casts a very dark shadow
on our sport right now," Mary Jo Fer-
nandez said on ESPN, as part of a panel
discussion Wednesday on the contro-
"Hopefully because the world is
watching, something will be done about
it. We need to flag who these players
were," said Fernandez, a three-time
Grand Slam finalist, winner of two
Grand Slam women s doubles titles and
two Olympic gold medals.
Federer was among the first to
demand more information: "I would
love to hear names," the Swiss star said
Monday at a post-match news confer-
ence. Referring specifically to the claim
about a former Grand Slam winner, he
asked, "Was it the player? Was it the
support team? Who was it? Was it
before? Was it a doubles player, a singles
player? Which Slam? It s so all over the
place. It s nonsense to answer something
that is pure speculation."
His comments have resonated with
those who say not knowing leads to
"This is turning into a witch hunt,"
said Patrick McEnroe, a former French
Open doubles champion and captain
of the US Davis Cup team who was in
Until now, the average fan may have
had little idea that tennis is one of the
most gambled on sports in the world,
with bookmakers actively taking bets
mid-match. Between matches at the
Australian Open, tennis experts have
explained the mechanics of match-fix-
ing, spelling out that it doesn t neces-
sarily mean throwing an entire match,
but could involve taking money just to
double-fault or lose a set.
"We in the tennis world have all heard
the stories about this going on at the
low levels. No one knew it was hap-
pening at the Grand Slams," McEnroe
said. "Where there s smoke, there s fire.
This is a major, major wake-up call for
the world of tennis."
The BBC and BuzzFeed report
prompted an immediate news confer-
ence by tennis governing bodies Mon-
day in Melbourne Park, where repre-
sentatives denied allegations that any
evidence about match-fixing had been
suppressed. Officials noted that the
sport s anti-corruption division, the
Tennis Integrity Unit, has pursued 18
disciplinary cases that resulted in life
bans from the sport for five players and
one official. It was set up in 2008, after
a surge of suspicious betting activity in
The problem for investigators, they
said, is that match-fixing is very difficult
Many fans have also been shocked
to learn that some of the sport s top
players have been approached and
offered big money to throw matches.
During a break in commentating for
ESPN, Chris Evert said the scandal had
deeply affected her.
"I have been so sad about this the
last few days," the 18-time Grand Slam
winner said. "We as tennis players have
always been so proud about the integrity
of our sport."
"Hopefully the truth will come out,"
Andy Roddick thinks it will. The 2003
US Open winner tweeted that he and
another retired pro have been engaged
in a guessing game: "Text I got from
another former tour pro we should see
how many of the 16 betting guys we
can name. I think I got at least 8-9."
MELBOURNE --- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
came to the aid of a ball girl in distress
and won accolades on social media
from fans who called him a gentle-
The No. 9-seeded Frenchman said
he noticed the ball girl was unwell dur-
ing the third set of his match yesterday,
so he paused before serving and walked
over to see what was wrong.
He put his hand on her back, and
the ball girl handed Tsonga a ball she
was holding. He then looped his arm
through hers and escorted the ball girl
off the court.
"I saw she was in trouble," Tsonga
said. "It was normal to help her out of
the stadium. I hope she s OK."
The ball girl was fine, just feeling
under the weather, according to tour-
nament organisers. And Tsonga is
through to the third round after beating
Omar Jasika of Australia, 7-5, 6-1, 6-
More questions than
answers for Djokovich
Tsonga to rescue of ailing ball girl
No. 1 Novak Djokovic
No. 3 Roger Federer
No. 6 Tomas Berdych
No. 7 Kei Nishikori
No. 9 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
No. 12 Marin Cilic
No. 14 Gilles Simon
No. 15 David Goffin
No. 19 Dominic Thiem
No. 25 Roberto Bautista Agut
No. 26 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
No. 27 Grigor Dimitrov
No. 28 Andrea Seppi
No. 29 Nick Kyrgios.
SEEDED MEN'S LOSERS: None.
SEEDED WOMEN'S WINNERS
No. 1 Serena Williams
No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska
No. 5 Maria Sharapova
No. 10 Carla Suarez Navarro
No. 12 Belinda Bencic
No. 13 Roberta Vinci
No. 28 Kristina Mladenovic
SEEDED WOMEN'S LOSERS
No. 6 Petra Kvitova
No. 23 Svetlana Kuznetsova.
STAT OF THE DAY:
79: record number of main draw
matches by Serena Williams at the
Australian Open since 1998, with a
70-9 win-loss record.
QUOTE OF THE DAY:
"I'd rather support them in another
sport. Go see them be a super skier.
That would be exciting" --- Roger
Federer says his twin daughters are
taking tennis lessons, not that he
necessarily wants them to make a
career out of the sport.
ON COURT TODAY:
No. 2 Andy Murray vs. Sam Groth,
No. 4 Stan Wawrinka vs. Radek
Stepanek, No. 8 David Ferrer vs.
Lleyton Hewitt; No. 3 Garbine
Muguruza vs. Kirsten Flipkens, No.
14 Victoria Azarenka vs. Danka
Roger Federer...among first to demand
AUSTRALIAN OPEN GLANCE
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