French Open Women's Doubles Match Subject of Match-Fixing Investigation

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2020

Stadium workers cover Suzanne Lenglen court as rain delayed a fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, France, Monday, Oct. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press

Authorities in Paris are investigated alleged match-fixing around Andreea Mitu and Patricia Maria Tig's victory over Madison Brengle and Yana Sizikova in the opening round of the 2020 French Open, according to the BBC

The exact nature of the allegations is unclear.

The BBC shared a comment from Alexei Selivanenko, vice-president of the Russian tennis federation, that offered little in the way of insight: "As long as there are no official documents, it is too early to comment on anything. Tennis has a zero-tolerance policy for cases of this kind."

None of Bringle, Tig, Mitu or Sizikova offered an official comment, and federations for Romania and the United States similarly declined to comment.

The Associated Press' John Leicester and Jerome Pugmire cited German outlet Die Welt and French paper L'Equipe, writing that "suspicious betting patterns" arose surrounding the match: 

"In the match, Sizikova is broken to love serving in game five of the second set, during which she double faults twice.

"According to Die Welt and L'Equipe's reports, large sums were allegedly placed on the Romanians to win that fifth game across several operators in Paris and from different countries.

"Die Welt cited unnamed insiders claiming several hundred thousand euros were bet on the game, and that the fifth game in the second was a focus of the betting — without saying specifically how much of the total betting was on that game."

Tennis Integrity Unit spokesman Mark Harrison told the AP that he couldn't divulge any details of the investigation, citing "operational confidentiality."

ESPN.com's Peter Bodo explained that internet betting sites often reach out to the relevant authorities when they see suspect betting patterns, such as a high volume of money quickly coming on one player or team.

Tennis as a whole can be a target of match-fixers because players outside of the top tier often struggle to make enough money from their tournament winnings alone. Fixing matches then becomes a way to supplement their income.

The BBC reported the investigation may require weeks before it concludes, so any formal resolution may be well down the road.