Tennis rocked by scandal as coach hit with staggering 12-year ban

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Max Wenders, Demi Schuurs, Ash Barty and Craig Tyzzer pose for photos in Montreal in 2018.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
Max Wenders, Demi Schuurs, Ash Barty and Craig Tyzzer pose for photos in Montreal in 2018. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

A tennis coach who previously worked with a doubles partner of Ash Barty has been banned from the sport for 12 years for match-fixing.

The International Tennis Integrity Agency announced on Wednesday that Dutch coach Max Wenders has been barred from any involvement in the sport until 2033.

BRUTAL: Nick Kyrgios furore erupts as photo leaves fans fuming

'LOOKING GOOD': Fans in frenzy over Rafa Nadal photos before US Open

The ITIA said Wenders had admitted to 'multiple match-fixing charges' and also admitted to destroying evidence and failing to report a corrupt approach.

Wenders admitted to the following breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP) rules:

  • Section D1.d of the 2019 TACP: "No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, contrive, attempt to contrive, agree to contrive, or conspire to contrive the outcome, or any other aspect, of any Event."

  • Section D.1.e of the 2018 TACP: “No Covered Person shall, directly or indirectly, facilitate any Player to not use his or her best efforts in any Event."

  • Section D.2.b.ii of the 2019 TACP: “In the event any Player is approached by any person who offers or provides any type of money, benefit or Consideration to a Player to (i) influence the outcome or any other aspect of any Event, or (ii) provide Inside Information, it shall be the Player’s obligation to report such incident to the TIU as soon as possible."

  • Section F.2.b of the 2019 TACP: “All Covered Persons must cooperate fully with investigations conducted by the TIU including giving evidence at hearings, if requested. After a Covered Person receives a TIU request for an initial interview or otherwise becomes aware of any TIU investigation involving the Covered Person, the Covered Person shall (i) preserve and not tamper with, damage, disable, destroy or otherwise alter any evidence (including any personal devices described in Section F.2.c.i.) or other information related to any Corruption Offense and (ii) not solicit, facilitate or advise any other person to fail to preserve, tamper with, damage, disable, destroy or otherwise alter any evidence or other information related to any Corruption Offense.”

A statement from the ITIA read: “The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has today confirmed that Dutch tennis coach Max Wenders has been banned from the sport for 12 years after admitting multiple match-fixing charges. The player also admitted destroying evidence requested by the ITIA (then the Tennis Integrity Unit) and failing to report a corrupt approach.

“The case was originally heard by Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO) Professor Richard McLaren in April 2021 who ruled that Wenders should also pay a fine of $12,000.

"Publication of the sanction was delayed following submissions from Mr Wenders’ legal team, however AHO McLaren has now lifted that prohibition.

“The sanction means that Wenders is prohibited from playing in, coaching at or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis for a period of 12 years from the date of the decision (28 April 2021).”

Demi Schuurs, pictured here with Ash Barty in Rome in 2018.
Max Wenders previously coached Demi Schuurs (L), who played doubles with Ash Barty in 2018. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Max Wenders had coached Ash Barty's doubles partner

Wenders responded in a statement, saying he was "extremely disappointed by the decision".

"I note, further, that the ITIA's statement on it contains a number of inaccuracies, which I have asked it to correct," the 26-year-old said.

"Whilst I am unable to comment any further at this time, due to the ongoing nature of this matter, I wish to make clear, in particular, that I have not been sanctioned for fixing any matches and that the decision relates to events which took place between late 2018 and 2019."

Wenders has coached a number of women's players throughout his career, including 2020 Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.

He and Kenin also had a romantic relationship during their time working together.

Wenders has worked as the hitting partner for former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, and an assistant coach to Estonia's current World No.2 Anett Kontaveit.

He also coached Dutch player Demi Schuurs, who played doubles with Barty in 2018 and won titles with the retired Australian star in Rome and Montreal that year.

There is no suggestion that Barty was involved in anything untoward.

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting