Thursday, September 29, 2016

US Open 2016: Match-fixing Probe Underway for Bacsinszky-Diatchenko Match

US Open 2016: Match-fixing Probe Underway for Bacsinszky-Diatchenko Match

Wikimedia/Tatiana

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The 2016 US Open Tennis Championships is getting ready to crown new winners this weekend, but a small shadow lurks over the event. A probe has reportedly been started in connection with a suspected match-fixing scenario during a first round match between Timea Bacsinszky and Vitalia Diatchenko.

According to a report by BBC, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) has started a probe on the women’s singles match between the two players. Unusual betting patterns connected to the match have been cited as the main reason why a probe is taking place. However, neither player has so far been considered to be under suspicion of corrupt behavior. In fact, the TIU believes that information about the probe should not have been leaked, as this could affect the players.

“Publicizing match alerts is premature and inevitably draws unwarranted attention to the players involved in the match. Under the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, all players are considered innocent unless proven otherwise at an independent anti-corruption hearing,” read a statement.

The match result was not unusual, with 15th seed Timea Bacsinszky taking the victory. She defeated world number 87 Vitalia Diatchenko with an easy 6-1, 6-1 scoreline. It was hardly an upset, and the result could help clear the players from suspicion. No details have been released about the suspicious betting patterns that raised the alert. The TIU regularly monitors matches and betting activities surrounding the sport in an effort to keep the integrity of the competitions. Other sports have similar organizations.

Meanwhile, the US Open Tennis Championships are deep into the second week of competition. Top seed Serena Williams is getting ready to face Simona Halep in the semi-finals. Andy Murray fell to Japan’s Kei Nishikori in a five-set thriller in the men’s draw. The champions will be crowned at Flushing Meadows this weekend.