In an interview with BBC Sport, Britain’s rising tennis star Andy Murray has claimed that some ATP tennis matches are fixed.
"It is pretty disappointing for all the players, but everyone knows that it goes on,” he said.
The interview follows claims by leading betting companies about the results of several games and unusual betting activity around them. Murray suggests that the opportunity of extra money for a lowly-ranked player is too good to pass up for some.
"There are some guys who have to come to tournaments every single week and out of their first-round-loser's cheque – about 2,500 euros – they have to pay for their air fares." A bit of payola might seem like a handy way to top up the week’s takings.
But how exactly do you throw a tennis match? It’s not like going down in the 8th and forgetting to get up again. Actually, says Murray, it’s easier than you might think.
"It's difficult to prove if someone has tanked a match or not tried. They can try their best until the last couple of games in each set and then make some mistakes, hit a couple of double faults and that is it."
But please: no Tim Henman jokes. Tiger Tim is the best player we’ve had since Fred Perry, a dashing stylist of the old school with about as a good a Grand Slam record as you could hope for (short of winning one, that is). And besides: who would you prefer: Tim or Buster “former National Front sympathiser” Mottram”?
Mottram, a former British number 1 and world number 14, once said: “'I hope Enoch Powell will never die, just as his namesake in the Bible never died.” No one, alas, was able to fix that for the moustachio’d one.
(Image: from kevinzim's Flickr stream)