In the wake of the latest match-fixing controversy involving 16 unnamed netters, world’s no.1 and reigning Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic still appears to have a more open stance on the role of sports betting in tennis.
Djokovic, who admitted his team was once offered $200,000 to throw a match in 2007, believed sports betting isn’t bad at all for tennis. In fact, he even stressed that legalized sports betting activities could become another source of income for tennis, particularly the ATP and WTA tour.
“You know, I know that there is also many betting companies that on the websites are using the names, the brands, images of tournaments and players and matches in order to profit from that,” Djokovic told reporters via Tennis.com. “Tennis hasn’t been really getting the piece of that cake, if you know what I mean.”
Djokovic’s remark comes at the time when the integrity of tennis is under scrutiny once again following a report from Buzzfeed UK and BBC implicating several tennis players for fixing matches and the negligence of tennis authorities to uncover the illegal business.
Roger Federer, being the former president of the ATP Players council, was very vocal in his position against match-fixing, even calling out the individuals behind the report to release the names of the players flagged for fixing matches.
“I would love to hear names,” The Swiss told reporters at the Australian Open via USA Today. “Then at least it’s concrete stuff and you can actually debate about it. Was it the player? Was it the support team? Who was it? Was it before? Was it a doubles player, a singles player? Which slam?’”
Federer and Djokovic both advanced to the second round of the Australian Open after demolishing their respective opponents in the second round. The two are pitted in the same half, setting them up for a potential semis showdown in a tournament, in which half of the players implicated in the report are reportedly competing.