Tennis matches are easy to be rigged and fixed, that is because it takes only one person to twist the entire “operation”. A player can always claim he/she is injured, not feeling well, make a show and decide if he/she wants to lose the match.
Sometimes it’s not even up to the player itself, linesmen and umpires can also easily twist matches at the most crucial moments of the match (see: Pliskova vs Sakkari – WTA Rome 2018). If you look at the size of bets people place just in websites like BetFair and you would compare it to the top prize offered in a Tennis competition this would be a no brainer.
Take a look at OddsPortal for instance you can see that a current tournament – WTA Nurnberg – top prize is $250,000 – that could be “peanuts money” in comparison to what people stake just at BetFair itself excluding all offshore bookies such as Pinnacle and more! And $250k is the 1st Prize … the other prizes are much smaller – thus giving more incentive to fix and cheat.
So who is Nicolas Kicker?
For some this person might not be familiar, but for some he was an excellent tool to make money. He is an Argentinian player, and as of today World no. 84 in Men’s Tennis (ATP). Now he is accused of doing some shady stuff a few years ago, and what’s bothering me the most about these news is the fact he is accused for fixing matches in 2015.
Now ask yourself – 2015 ?!
We are in 2018, 3 years later, and only now the Tennis organizations come up with something like that from 3 years ago?! Now check his results in ATP Madrid 2018:
Not bad results, he managed to beat Taylor Fritz in 3 Sets, quite impressive … but check the next 2 tournaments – First – The Italian Open (ATP Rome 2018):
And then Lyon Open 2018:
2 important matches against 2 South American players, one from Chile and one from Argentina, both ended in 3 sets, where in both Kicker won the 1st Set and made a “struggle” until the end (what allows more money to be spent on betting as the odds swing in such cases).
So he is blamed for fixing some Tennis matches in 2015, but no word about 2018? How logical is that? It’s like taking a drug addict and accusing him of being an addict 10 years ago – why don’t you forget about that and focus on what you have in your hands right now?
Besides – any player can fix a match, whenever he or she feels like it… it could even be Nadal, Thiem, Djokovic or Zverev – the power of bribe is just too strong, and today with the ability to transfer Bitcoin anonymously it’s not too hard to push a player to do something, even during the middle of the match – it only takes a few words from the coach to tell the player what he or she needs to do and the player, the coach, and many people around will pocket lots of money.
So let’s conclude with what Sean Bean said in the movie Ca$h (2010) – “when it comes to cash nobody can be trusted“.