Why Is Betting Allowed On Mixed Doubles Anyway?
by Sean Randall | January 25th, 2016, 12:13 am

Another alleged match-fixing story has hit the wires this evening. The NY Times reports the latest suspicious match involves an Australian Open mixed doubles between Lara Arruabarrena and David Marrero against Andrea Hlavackova and Lukasz Kubot.

All the money ($25K or more) went on Hlavackova and Kubot to win and they did. So the issue? Well, people don’t bet that much on mixed doubles. Per the report, comparable mixed matches had totals under $2K.

All this begs the question, why the hell do they – the bookmakers – even allow money to be bet on mixed doubles matches which in my mind aren’t even part of the tour. They are like minor prize money events.

But my guess is it’s hard to turn down the cash so they offer odds on mixed events, challengers and futures where matches are more open to being fixed.

Or maybe I’m wrong?

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3 Comments for Why Is Betting Allowed On Mixed Doubles Anyway?

Ben Pronin Says:

I can’t tell if you’re being serious or if this is just your way of starting the conversation about how bad this looks.

You can bet on literally anything, regardless of whether or not it’s “part of the tour”.

MMT Says:

The key to a fix is a player willing and able to fix the result – everything else is irrelevant. Having said that, the lure of mixed doubles isn’t what it used to be, and as such there are more players that might be willing to sacrifice their real income for a “fixed”income (pun intended) playing mixed doubles.

I don’t see a problem (in theory) with allowing betting on tennis. The sponsorship of betting houses does allow players to toil on the outer orbit of the tennis universe (challengers and futures), so it’s a good with the bad thing. The issue of match-fixing is manageable if there is a committment to manage it – I think strange betting patterns ought to be analyzed, but the ATP ought to work with betting houses (who have the most at stake in preventing match fixing) to do serious investigations of phone and financial records of players in suspicious matches.

They ought to re-open the case on Vassallo Arguello and threaten his pension if he is found to have fixed matches. They can always vacate his results if they have enough evidence to convict him – that would be a good start and send a message that you’re never safe from the consequences of match fixing.

From there they should move on to current players and open cases against those who have the most egregious betting patterns with no alternate explanation for them and let the chips fall where they may.

This will get messy…


RZ Says:

Saw this article and agree with the premise – if there was match fixing for that particular match, it was extremely dumb of all involved. http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/youd-have-to-be-pretty-dumb-to-fix-a-tennis-match-this-week/

I will reiterate a point that Jon Wertheim has made about tennis: the accessibility to practice courts lets you see/hear things that could help in a betting situation. Last year at Indian Wells, I saw Marin Cilic on a practice court grimacing and getting his shoulder massaged. I totally could have placed a bet on him losing from what I saw. Wouldn’t have been match-fixing, just a case of me getting insider info and using it to my advantage.

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