Tennis: Russia’s Sizikova arrested over match-fixing allegations

Yana Sizikova suspected of deliberately losing a game at last year’s Roland-Garros tournament.

Sizikova is currently ranked 101st in the women's doubles rankings [Martin Bureau/AFP]

Russian tennis player Yana Sizikova has been arrested over the suspected fixing of a doubles match at the French Open last year, according to reports.

Sizikova, 26, was detained on Thursday after playing in this year’s tournament at Roland-Garros, the AFP news agency reported, citing a source in the Paris prosecutor’s office.

An investigation into possible corruption and fraud was opened last year over a first-round match in September that saw Sizikova and her American partner Madison Brengle defeated by Romanian pair Andreea Mitu and Patricia Maria Tig.

Suspicions arose because of abnormally high betting activity on the game registered in countries outside of France, which was reported to law enforcement, a source close to the case told AFP at the time.

One game in particular – the fifth of the second set – was being analysed by investigators after it featured two unusual double-faults by Sizikova.

A police source confirmed to Reuters on Friday that Sizikova had been arrested and placed into custody. The source did not elaborate on the reasons for her arrest.

A separate source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters the arrest was related to match-fixing allegations.

The French tennis federation (FFT) confirmed Sizikova’s arrest but said it could not comment further.

Shamil Tarpischev, president of the Russian Tennis Federation, told the RIA news agency that he had been informed of Sizikova’s detention.

“We have not received any documents (regarding the case), so it’s difficult to make an assessment of what has happened,” Tarpischev was quoted as saying.

TASS news agency reported that the Russian embassy in Paris had been informed of the situation.

On Thursday, Sizikova and her new partner Ekaterina Alexandrova were heavily defeated in under an hour 1-6, 1-6 by Australian pair Storm Sanders and Ajla Tomljanovic in the first round of the women’s doubles.

Sizikova is ranked 101st in the women’s doubles rankings.

Source: News Agencies