US Open 2016: Irregular betting investigated

The Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) is looking into a first-round match at the US Open after irregular betting patterns were detected. The Tennis Integrity Unit, the sport’s primary anticorruption body, is investigating a first-round women’s singles match at the United States Open after irregular betting patterns were detected. The match, in which 15th-seeded Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland beat Vitalia Diatchenko of Russia, 6-1, 6-1, was played on Aug. 30.

A "match alert" regarding suspicious betting was sent to the integrity unit by the Russian bookmaker Fonbet. Another online gambling site, Bet365, appeared to have suspended betting for two games during the match and also to have decreased the maximum wagers permitted.

"As with all cases, the TIU will assess, make a judgment and take appropriate action on the alert information received and obtained for the first round singles match between Vitalia Diatchenko and Timea Bacsinszky played at the US Open on 30th August," - the TIU said in a statement on thursday.

In an interview with The New York Times after the match now under scrutiny, Diatchenko said she was unaware of any unusual betting on her match, and denied any knowledge of any effort to fix it. "I don't know what to say, really," she said. "I play my tennis. Maybe people know I'm not in my best form?"

Diatchenko, 26, is ranked 677th after missing long stretches of the season with injury, and was only able to enter the US Open on an exemption called a protected ranking.
Her opponent, Bacsinszky, recently won an Olympic silver medal in doubles in Rio de Janeiro and reached the semifinals of the French Open last year.

The TIU added in their statement that an alert on its own is not evidence of match-fixing and there can be other reasons for unusual betting including "incorrect odds-setting, well-informed betting, player fitness, fatigue and form as well as playing conditions and personal circumstances".