The Australian Open has generated more headlines than any other tennis event because of its off-court controversies. The event has been under the scanner ever since BBC reported of match fixing scandals allegedly involving some of the biggest names in the tennis fraternity.
While the match fixing allegations are still fresh, the Australian Open is now slapped with fresh problems of gambling.
Senior Sportswriter Peter Bodo, who is also the Senior Editor/Blogger at Tennis Magazine, is of the opinion that the game of tennis is “tailor-made” for gambling infrastructure. “The leaders of the game have been embracing partnerships with gambling enterprises without seeming to appreciate, or in some cases agree upon, the implications and consequences of those partnerships,” Bodo told ESPN.
Chris Kermode, executive chairman and president of the ATP also told ESPN that betting is not considered an illegal activity in many places and can in fact “be an enhancement [to enjoying game].” The problem is that tennis is very easy to fix and as an individual it becomes all the more easy to get lured into the gambling process, he added.
There were allegations over betting-related corruption right from the very beginning of this year’s Australian Open.
A BBC report suggested that an unknown Grand Slam is under the suspicion and “eight players who have been investigated during the past decade are in the main draw at the Australian Open.”
In a bid to curb the gambling and match-fixing, Swiss legend Roger Federer called for the strongest action from the authorities.
“It’s like I can always train more, there’s always more you can do,” Federer told The Telegraph in a previous interview. “So a story like this is only going to increase the pressure. Hopefully there’s more funding to it.”
“Same as doping. You’ve got to be super aggressive in both areas. It’s just really important that all the governing bodies and all the people involved take it very seriously, that the players know about it,” the World No. 3 added.