Fixing fight a losing battle

Liam Broady

Liam Broady lost to David Goffin in the second round of Wimbledon in 2015

Tennis authorities are “fighting a losing battle” in their bid to tackle match fixing, according to British number seven Liam Broady.

The 22-year-old said most players were unsurprised by this week’s BBC/Buzzfeed allegations and that the sport faces “a massive problem”.

He added that some see match-fixing as “a brilliant way to fund their career”.

Broady, a former Wimbledon junior doubles winner, reached the second round of the main singles draw in 2015.

He said the struggle for cash at the lower levels of the sport meant the temptation to fix matches was too strong to resist for some players, who felt they had “no choice”.

“There’s no smoke without fire,” he said. “For some of these guys it’s a brilliant way to fund their career, especially the lower-level players. You throw three matches a year and you’re paying for your entire year of travel.

“I guess some people see that they have no choice and this is maybe an act of desperation.”

Broady said he had never been approached to fix a match and does not believe fixing is rife within the sport, saying “once or twice a year you hear of stories”.

He added that he was sympathetic to the authorities’ task in ensuring a clean sport.

“It’s tough,” he said. “Everyone knows a player who has a bad day. I’ve lost matches in Challengers and had people tweeting, saying that they’re going to report you to the Tennis Integrity Unit because you’ve thrown the match.

“The TIU obviously has to put up with a lot of false claims and I think sometimes they’re fighting a losing battle. I guess they’re just doing the best they can.”

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