Sports Outside the Beltway

Tennis authorities looking into WTA match

The match in question took place yesterday. From AP-

Tennis authorities are looking into a WTA Tour match involving U.S. Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki that apparently sparked bettors to pile money on her opponent when she was on the verge of losing in straight sets.

Wozniacki, a 19-year-old Dane ranked sixth in the world, retired from the first-round match at the Luxembourg Open with a hamstring injury on Wednesday while leading Anne Kremer of Luxembourg 7-5, 5-0.

Wozniacki’s father, Piotr, told his daughter at 3-0 in the second set to retire before winning because her injury would prevent her from playing in the next round. His comments, apparently spoken in his native Polish, were picked up by microphones and heard by viewers watching the match on the Internet.

“I went onto the court and said to her: ‘Caro, it does not matter whether it’s going to be 5-0, 4-1 or 3-2. You can not play the next round, so you shouldn’t take the risk,” Piotr Wozniacki said Thursday on Danish radio. “I’m very proud of Caroline, because she stopped the fight and gave her opponent a chance.”

The father’s comments during the match led to a surge in online bets for Kremer to win.

The governing bodies of tennis created a Tennis Integrity Unit last year to combat gambling and match-fixing.

Without making any kind of judgment in Ms. Wozniacki’s case, I will suggest that what happened in Luxembourg be thoroughly investigated and in a open fashion. This is not the first recent allegation that a tennis match may not have been kosher or there was large sums of money bet at suspicious times on it. The integrity of professional tennis could be at stake if the sports fans come to believe results are being rigged.

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