Match-fixing fears return after flood of 'unusual' bets

Fears over match-fixing in men's tennis have surfaced for the third time in a month after "extreme movements" in betting patterns on a match between two top 100 players led to cancellation of markets and reports to the authorities.

A flood of "unusual" money was placed on Spain's Oscar Hernandez, the world No 56, to beat Serbia's Janko Tipsarevic, the world No 79, in straight sets in the first round of the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart on Tuesday.

High street firms including William Hill suspended betting, while Betfair reported "extreme movements" as abnormal sums were matched on Hernandez. The Spaniard won 6-4, 6-4.

The match has been referred to the Gambling Commission and to the sport's in-house Tennis Integrity Unit for investigation. The case is at least the sixth in men's tennis in 2009 to be referred to the GC, the TIU or both.

The last was a first-round Wimbledon match between America's Wayne Odesnik and Jürgen Melzer, which Melzer won in straight sets after hundreds of thousands of pounds had been placed on that scoreline.

The week before, the TIU opened an investigation into a match at the Ordina Open in the Netherlands, where "unusual" bets on Hernandez to beat Austria's Daniel Koellerer led to the suspension of betting. Hernandez won that match.

Two matches earlier in the year featuring losses for different Argentinian players are also understood to have been flagged up as "of concern" while there is on ongoing investigation into a first-round match in April at the Monte Carlo Masters, where France's Jean-René Lisnard beat Belgium's Christophe Rochus, 6-2, 6-2, after "substantial and unusual" bets on that outcome.

The authorities' first line of inquiry in such cases is whether "insider information" has allowed someone close to a player to profit, from knowledge about an injury for example. No player has been accused of breaking the rules of tennis at this stage.

Trade in such information is banned in tennis. Bookmakers tend to be more relaxed about it. Often bookies will not even report "unusual" betting where an injury offers an explanation.

In other cases, bookmakers withhold payment on bets while the authorities try to rule out premeditated fixing. For example, a spokesman for William Hill said yesterday: "We won't pay out on Lisnard v Rochus until the Gambling Commission has cleared it."

The Gambling Commission refuses to discuss any cases. The TIU operates in similar secrecy, replying yesterday to a series of questions with: "No comment."

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice
music

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
health

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album