Report: Suspicious betting raises match-fixing concerns at Australian Open

Lara Arruabarrena and David Marrero lost 6-0, 6-3 in just 49 minutes in an Australian Open mixed doubles match that has raised match-fixing concerns.

We have a match-fixing concern at the Australian Open.

The New York Times reported Sunday that a gambling site stopped taking bets on a doubles match after a suspiciously large amount of money came in on one side.

The match in question was a relatively obscure first-round mixed doubles match, with Andrea Hlavackova of the Czech Republic and Lukasz Kubot of Poland facing David Marrero and Lara Arruabarrena of Spain. In the hours before the match started, large amounts of money came in on Hlavackova and Kubot, the report said, citing Marco Blume, the head of the sportsbook at the website Pinnacle Sports.

“We saw a small number of people placing a large amount of money,” Blume said. He added: “In context, these matches are rather small. That means that any aggressive betting behavior is very easy to detect on our side.”

Hlavackova and Kubot won 6-0, 6-3. The entire match took just 49 minutes.

Marrero and Arruabarrena both denied any accusations of match-fixing in post-match comments. Marrero said a knee injury was to blame for his poor performance, the report said.

The amount of betting on this match, according to Blume, was not in keeping with other matches at this Australian Open. Pinnacle stopped taking bets on the match after the suspicious action came in.

The news comes on the heels of last Sunday’s lengthy report from Buzzfeed and the BBC, detailing years of match-fixing concerns in tennis that have apparently gone unchecked.

Nigel Willerton, who heads up the Tennis Integrity Unit charged with investigating such claims, did not comment to the New York Times on the mixed doubles match.

The Times report details how the match unfolded, with Marrero making several unforced errors, serving poorly, and failing to capitalize when returning Hlavackova’s serve.

UPDATE: The Associated Press reports that Marrero and Arruabarrena have been interviewed by the Tennis Integrity Unit.