Past misdeeds are catching up with the world of tennis. But the sport has a bright future out east
Tennis is in trouble. Last week it emerged that, over the last decade, 16 players of the top 50 were repeatedly flagged for match-fixing to the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU), the sport’s police. Doubts had arisen over a combination of suspiciously large bets and unlikely results on matches going back to 2003. No player ever got punished, however, and the TIU now stands accused of failing to uphold its “zero-tolerance” policy. It is responding by downplaying the problem.
That is an unforced error. Match-rigging could do a lot of damage to tennis. The gambling industry, which some value at up to $1 trillion, is now a bigger business than sport itself; modern technology is allowing this money to transfer fast and in less traceable ways. Tennis is an easy sport to fix, because only one player needs to be bribed. A serious push by organised crime could thus put a big dent in the game’s credibility. And once people stop believing, they'll simply stop watching.
Yet there are reasons to think tennis will bounce back. Read More