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Page last updated at 19:56 GMT, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 20:56 UK

Unusual Wimbledon bets reported

WIMBLEDON
Date: 22 June - 5 July
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Jurgen Melzer
Melzer won Tuesday's match in straight sets

Online betting exchange Betfair has confirmed to the BBC it had reported irregular betting patterns in a match at Wimbledon.

The incident involves Tuesday's match between Austria's Jurgen Melzer and America' Wayne Odesnik.

Melzer won in straight sets and Betfair said the flood of wagers on the Austrian was "very visible".

The 26th seed, who is not under suspicion, denied knowledge of any betting on the match.

"I was surprised this morning to read it in the papers," he said. "Even if he was fit, I would beat him on three sets on grass.

"The odds would be that I would beat him in three sets. Any set I would lose would be a surprise.

"I'm now in a strange position. I'm getting asked questions about something I have nothing to do with. It's bad for tennis."

Betfair has informed the Tennis Integrity Unit, which is expected to look into the game.

It will investigate whether the patterns were sinister or simply reflected fans' judgment the little-fancied Odesnik, who was carrying an injury, was likely to lose heavily.

Betfair managing director Mark Davies told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We have a memorandum of understanding with the Tennis Integrity Unit which allows them to see betting patterns of all the betting which takes place on our site and we alerted them to this.

"It was extremely visible to all our customers, the price moving in as quickly as it did. There was a lot of chat about it on our forums.

"So we would have liaised with the Tennis Integrity Unit and then they can make a judgment whether there is something more sinister in this or whether it is just a question of people being aware of a player who was already significantly under-rated carrying an injury that meant that he was likely to lose."

Graham Sharpe, media relations director of William Hill, said it had not made any complaints because it saw nothing untoward in the betting patterns.

He said: "From our point of view we suspect people thought the game had been wrongly priced.

"The result was fully entitled to end up the way it did do."

A spokesman for the All England Lawn Tennis Club declined to comment on the reports and stressed the issue was one for the Tennis Integrity Unit to deal with.

But world number two Roger Federer expressed concern that corruption may be having an impact on top-level tennis.

"We don't talk about it in the locker room. But it's happened more frequently than we talk about it," said the Swiss. "If it's happening or not, we are suspecting. We're not sure. But, of course, it has no place in tennis.

"It's hard to control but we're trying our best to catch those guys - if there are any out there. I think we should have massive bans on those who get caught so they get really scared of doing it.

"I've never been approached," Federer said. "I never knew it existed until a few years ago when all of a sudden I heard about it. So I've been shocked to hear it."



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see also
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Men's doubles latest
02 Jun 08 |  Tennis
Women's singles latest
23 May 08 |  Tennis
Results
26 Jun 07 |  Results
Women's singles results
26 Jun 07 |  Results
Wimbledon: Live map
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis


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