Bookmakers Halt Suspicious Australian Open Wagering
Security personnel at Pinnacle Sports were the first to notice that a large amount of cash on a fairly obscure match up between Andrea Hlavackova and Lukasz Kubot; and Lara Arruabarrena and David Marrero.
Though Arruabarrena and Marrero were heavy favorites to win, a large amount of late money on Hlavackova and Kubot drove down the odds on the favorites. In the hours leading up to the match, odds on the favorites dropped by 18% for no reason besides volume of wagers.
Officials from the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) were notified of the irregularities, but have not yet commented on them.
Hlavackova and Kubot, on the other hand, defended their win. In a statement to the press, Hlavackova took umbrage with the suggestion that that his opponents may not have been giving it their all saying:
It’s not very comfortable to think that we didn’t win the match on our terms. We played our best [yesterday], we did very well and we won. So it’s a bit not comfortable to be questioned if someone else was not playing 100 per cent or something.
Marrero and Arruabarrena also denied any wrongdoing and pointed out that Marrero was suffering from an injured knee. (There’s no indication as to whether or not Marrero’s knee injury was made public before the match.)
Given the controversy surrounding alleged match fixing that’s dogged the tennis world over the past week, Pinnacle’s quick action in halting a match with suspicious betting patterns isn’t much of surprise.
As of this writing, this has been the only match that’s garnered a halt in betting at this year’s Australian Open, though it might not be the last.