Andy Murray's comeback rocked by match-fixing allegations against partner

Tennis star Feliciano Lopez has reportedly been named in a match-fixing probe in his native Spain.

The allegations reportedly relate to a match he and partner Marc Lopez lost at Wimbledon in 2017 against Aussies John-Patrick Smith and Matt Reid.

Feliciano Lopez has declined to comment and is reportedly consulting his lawyers.

The story first appeared in El Confidencial, a renowned Spanish digital newspaper.

The shock news comes as Lopez prepares to partner Andy Murray in his much-anticipated comeback from his surgery at Queen’s.

Murray’s camp have reportedly told The Guardian they are aware of the claims, but also declined to comment.

Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images for LTA)
Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez. (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images for LTA)

The allegations centre around the actions retired Spanish footballers Raúl Bravo and Carlos Aranda.

“Investigators conducting Operation Oikos reveal that information was passed on about a doubles match involving Feliciano López and Marc López at Wimbledon in July 2017, which presumably would be for the purpose of making illegal bets,” the report states.

“The police got the information from listening to Aranda’s phone. He said: ‘I have information about a match, do you want it?’ The other speaker said: ‘Yes man, of course – if you have it.’

“Aranda demanded the contact committed to paying him 50% of all his winnings as payment for the tip, who asked how much he should put on. Aranda said: ‘As much as you want, it’s Wimbledon!’ – the idea being that the tournament is so big, no one would be surprised by a huge bet.

“‘What Feliciano López and his partner will lose is the doubles,’ was the tip. [They] then lost to Matt Reid and John Patrick Smith, winning the first set before losing the following three.”

Feliciano Lopez and Andy Murray. (Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)
Feliciano Lopez and Andy Murray. (Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images)

Comeback delayed

Murray’s comeback has been delayed until Thursday after rain washed out the day's play at Queen's Club.

Murray and Lopez were scheduled to play their first round match at the grass-court event on Wednesday against top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabel and Jean-Julian Rojer.

But the tie had to be put back until Thursday after Lopez's singles match against Marton Fucsovics was one of those which fell foul of Tuesday's weather.

With Lopez now due to play on Wednesday, Murray will have to wait another 24 hours to get back in competitive action.

When the 32-year-old Scot does eventually step back onto a tennis court it will be just 143 days after he underwent the operation in a bid to salvage his career.

The two-time Wimbledon champion tearfully announced at January's Australian Open that it may have to be his last tournament, such was the pain his chronic injury was giving him.

Instead, on January 28, Murray went under the knife and had a metal plate inserted into the joint.

No player has competed in top-level singles after undergoing the hip resurfacing operation, but American Bob Bryan has returned to the doubles circuit.

with AFP

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