Mention Of Hewitt In Corruption Scandal Creates Outcry

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Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Lleyton Hewitt Tennis News

Numerous have been the criticisms of corruption and match fixing claims during the fortnight of the Australian Open but mention of one player, Lleyton Hewitt has caused public outrage not just around his homeland but the world of tennis in general.

Chris Kermode, executive chairman and president of the ATP World Tour and Steve Healy, the president of Tennis Australia have joined the widespread criticism of the naming of Hewitt amongst 16 players involved in matches with dubious betting patterns.

Healy dismissed out of hand suggestions that Hewitt’s Sydney loss to Stan Wawrinka as Australia faced Switzerland in the Davis Cup’s 2011 world group play-off was suspicious and worthy of investigation. “I watched the whole of that match, he tried his heart out; it was unbelievable he got as close as he did,” maintained Healy, not surprisingly lauding Hewitt.

“He was playing on one leg, he’s barely played a match all year, and still he got close. You couldn’t fault his effort. And in the end, he says publicly, it’s the only match he’s ever cried after, he was so devastated to have lost the fifth and deciding rubber, and they throw that out, and his name out there. I think it’s just shocking.”

Kermode was also amazed at Hewitt’s name was mentioned. “Lleyton Hewitt, as we all know, is one of the greatest competitors of all time,” said London-based Kermode. “I’m not sure he’d give his mother one point when he was playing.

Looking at the wider picture, Healy insisted it was unfortunate that match fixing allegations, none of them particularly new, were released during the Australian Open although he acknowledged the timing was unquestionably for maximum impact.

Pointing an accusing finger at the much debated BuzzFeed News and BBC report, Healy said: “We’re unhappy really at what was a really targeted thing to attract maximum publicity.

“It’s a whole-of-sport issue, and we think not only is it good for the sport to move on this and move quickly, we think it’s good for the tournament to get it out there. What I hope now is that we get some clear air to the end of the tournament, because it’s been probably the best Australian Open we’ve ever done, and it deserves to stand in its own right without all the negatives around it.”

Tennis Australia’s commercial arrangement with bookmakers William Hill at the Australian Open has also come in for widespread criticism with Andy Murray declaring any link between the tennis authorities and gambling on the sport is hypocrisy.

“We’ve passed it through the TIU and it’s fine,” said Healy, adding that the ability the indulge with in-play betting, the most dangerous of all gambling concepts, could well be outlawed before too long.

He continued: “The in-game betting is the one that is I think the easiest to corrupt for those that are wanting to do that, so that’s a discussion we have in Australia as well with our government, and I’ve spoken with a couple of government ministers already about that. We will discuss that at board level and we’ll discuss that with the government.”

Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.