Tennis-X Notes: ATP Players Retract Gambling Statements

Posted on October 14, 2007

Germany's Tommy Haas on match-fixing in men's tennis: "You hear stories and you wonder why we aren't watching out for these guys at tournaments -- there have been cases where it's quite obvious."...Britain's Andy Murray talking to the BBC on match-fixing: "It is pretty disappointing for all the players, but everyone knows that it goes on. 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."

Russian Nikolay Davydenko on Andy Murray saying the men's tennis match-fixing and gambling problem is widespread: "If Murray says that he knows, that means that he gambles himself. Because people who start talking out loud have their fears disappear. And they know that if they speak out loud it means that they are free, they have not done it. Since Murray was describing in details how it all goes on, it means that he went deep into it. As if he was never involved in it, but he knows how it all works in details. It was folly of him to say this."...Justine Henin has clinched the 2007 year-end No. 1 ranking. Henin is also on a 16-match winning streak, the longest of the year, for the second time in 2007...The USTA announced that Gordon Smith has been named Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer. Smith will assume the position Nov. 1 upon the retirement of current USTA Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer D. Lee Hamilton. Smith captained a University of Georgia team that swept four straight Southeastern Conference titles from 1971 through 1975, and he was the SEC doubles champion in 1975. Smith has been an active member of the USTA Southern Section since 1992, most recently serving as its president. The USTA also announced that Arlen Kantarian has been named Chief Executive Officer, Professional Tennis, in which he will "oversee the development of a new USTA elite player development program, focused on identifying and developing the next generation of American champions."...Michael Chang speaking to ESPN on being nominated for the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2008: "It's not for me to say whether I should be in the Hall of Fame or not. It's an honor to be nominated. I was fortunate to play and compete with so many tough players -- Connors, McEnroe, Lendl, and of course Pete, Andre and Jim, and even Federer and Roddick. But in the last year, back on the [women's] tour [coaching Chinese player Peng Shuai], it's been very gratifying to hear people come up and say things like 'Thank you for all the enjoyment you gave me watching you play.' To impact people like that gives me chills. I never realized that until last year."...From Eurosport on Novak Djokovic's agent saying his client was never approached by gamblers: "Reports in the British media circulated last month that Djokovic, the US Open finalist, rejected a �110,000 bribe to throw a match at the St Petersburg Open last year, but Djokovic has since flatly rejected the claims. "No one has ever approached Novak with anything in regard to gambling in tennis. I don't think that anybody would ever approach Novak because he would have to be crazy or stupid," said [Amit] Naor [Djokovic's agent]. Djokovic did not compete in the tournament last year and Naor said that he was never scheduled to play in the event, but was rather committed to tournaments in Basel and Vienna. "I don't know where this quote that came out in the British press came from. Neither I, nor Novak, nor the people around him know how his name was involved whatsoever in that regard. We approached the ATP asking them to defend Novak's name and reputation because he's been dragged into something which he has nothing to do with in just an attempt to spoil his good name."...Rafael Nadal on Andy Murray's claim that everyone knows there is corruption regarding match-fixing in men's tennis: "I doubt Murray knows more than anyone else -- he's gone overboard and there are no fixed games. I've been in all the meetings, I see what goes on on the circuit just like him and I'm not so stupid as to not know what is going on."...Justin Gimelstob writing for "The WTA Tour is abuzz with excitement over these players' on-court talents and their off-court charisma. Along with Azarenka and Radwanska, there's also Israel's Shahar Peer, Hungary's Agnes Szavay, France's Tatiana Golovin, India's Sania Mirza and the Netherlands' Michaella Krajicek." -- Guess we missed that buzz and excitement sweeping over the U.S...Roger Federer sounds like he is ready to take charge of tennis' match-fixing problems: "Before I make any serious comments about this I'm going to speak with Andy [Murray]," said Federer of the Brit who made comments regarding widespread problems. "I'm going to speak with the federation and all the bodies so I can get a better idea of just what exactly is going on with this right now."...From the LA Times' Lisa Dillman in London: "The four governing bodies of professional tennis met here Friday to galvanize plans to counter alleged match-fixing, and reaffirmed their belief in the integrity of the sport, even as a list circulated of 140 suspicious matches dating to 2002. Most of the matches on the list, a copy of which was obtained by The Times, involve lower-ranked players and were singled out because of unusual betting patterns. The allegations range from tanking to set-score fixing to predetermined retirement."...Maria Sharapova withdrew from the Zurich Open citing her ongoing shoulder injury.