Sports Outside the Beltway

Czech player says he was asked to lose tennis match

Jan Hernych says this happened last year.

PRAGUE, Czech Republic – Czech tennis player Jan Hernych says he was approached in Russia last year and asked to lose first-round matches at ATP tournaments in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

“Someone called me from the (hotel’s) reception to my room, asking whether I wanted to sell a match, if I wanted to lose,” Hernych was quoted as saying in Friday’s editions of the Czech Republic’s biggest daily, Mlada Fronta Dnes.

“I rejected. I think that anyone who would accept it is absolutely mad,” said Hernych, currently ranked 165th.

The matches allegedly involved were against Italy’s Filippo Volandri at the Kremlin Cup, which Hernych won 6-1, 6-4, and against Russia’s Evgeny Korolev at the St. Petersburg Open, which the Czech player won 6-7 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (7).

Hernych said he was not offered a specific sum of money.

“They wanted to know whether I was willing to negotiate with them,” he said.

In the wake of at least one other questionable match, pro tennis officials need to conduct a serious and very transparent investigation. Right now the integrity of the sport is being called into serious question.

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