Tennis player responds after Wimbledon match sparks fixing claims

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Pictured here, Georgia's Nikolaz Basilashvili serves during a match at Wimbledon.
Georgia's Nikolaz Basilashvili has denied the match-fixing allegations levelled against him. Pic: Getty

A Georgian tennis star at the centre of Wimbledon match-fixing allegations has vehemently denied the explosive claims levelled against him.

Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili and Russian Aslan Karatsev are both embroiled in a match-fixing scandal after being named in a bombshell report from German broadcaster ZDF.

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The German broadcaster alleges that both players were offered money to fix matches at previous Wimbledon championships.

Basilashvili’s alleged match-fixing was said to have occurred during his first-round doubles match at Wimbledon last year, where the Georgian and his partner Radu Albot lost in three sets.

According to the German report, suspiciously large bets of more than $700,000 were placed during the match, with the Tennis Integrity Agency investigating the claims.

In a strongly worded response to the German report, Basilashvili refuted any such suggestions that he was guilty of match-fixing.

“I found out that the German media mentioned my name in connection with alleged match-fixing,” Basilashvili said.

“Such accusations have no basis and I deny them. I will not accept that my reputation is damaged by unfounded and absurd accusations.

“That is why I demand that the media stop with these allegations and lies. The public must be informed that I deny all these allegations.

"I have authorised a law firm in Germany to protect my interests and fight the spread of misinformation in every possible way.”

Karatsev - who has been at the centre of match-fixing allegations before - told Russian media that he had no idea how the latest claims had come about.

Seen here, Russian Aslan Karatsev plays a forehand against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the Rome Masters in 2022.
Russian Aslan Karatsev plays a forehand against Serbia's Novak Djokovic at the Rome Masters in 2022. Pic: Getty

He is reportedly linked to five matches at the centre of suspicious betting activity.

“I haven’t heard anything about it. I don’t know what you are talking about. And should I comment on this nonsense? How many times have they written such things about me, have I ever been convicted?”

Belarussian coach Yegor Yatsyk central to investigation

According to the German report, both players have been questioned by French police in connection with the alleged scandal.

Belarussian coach Yegor Yatsyk is also believed to be central to the investigation, with Karatsev’s father Kazbek admitting he was aware of the claims against the coach.

“This is the first time I hear about it. This simply cannot be," Karatsev's father Kazbek told Russian outlet RIA Novosti.

"I know that (coach) Yatsyk was already suspected of fixed matches in 2020. But what about Aslan? They haven’t worked together for over a year."

“I don’t even know where such information could come from, it became interesting to myself. Maybe some kind of provocation. But Aslan is very calm, he does not bother anyone. I haven’t been able to talk to him about this yet. He has a tournament now, and before the games we usually do not call each other so that he is less worried.”

Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) president Shamil Tarpischev has brushed off the controversy after describing it as "tabloid chronicle".

“Funny situation. If there is something official, then it can be discussed. And so, this is a tabloid chronicle, it’s even ridiculous to discuss, you never know who says what. And besides, this is 2019-2020, if there was something, we would have been informed long ago. And no one told us anything,” Tarpischev told Sport Express.

Meanwhile, the Belarussian Tennis Federation have distanced themselves from Yatsyk.

“I would like to note that Yegor Yatsyk, the former mentor of Karatsev, is not a member of the Belarusian Tennis Federation. As a former athlete, I condemn the actions of athletes in any sport related to match-fixing and betting.

"I share the position of the authorities of all countries in the world that are fighting this evil,” BTF chairman Sergei Rutenko told rt.com.

with agencies

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