Match-fixing allegations: Djokovic wins, faces questions over 2007 loss
MELBOURNE: For the second time in three days, Novak Djokovic won a match at the Australian Open and was confronted by questions about match-fixing in the sport.
The five-time champion had just beaten 19-year-old French wild-card entry Quentin Halys 6-1, 6-2, 7-6 (3) in the second round on Wednesday night - his 34th win in his last 35 matches at Melbourne Park - when his news conference veered to questions about the issue that has overshadowed the start of the season's first major.
After his first-round win, on the day when the BBC and BuzzFeed News published reports alleging match-fixing had gone unchecked in tennis, the No. 1-ranked Djokovic recalled when a member of his support team was approached with an offer to throw a match in Russia in 2007.
That approach didn't reach him directly, he said, and was rejected immediately.
After his second-round win, he was asked about an Italian newspaper report casting doubt over his performance in a match against Fabrice Santoro in Paris in 2007.
Djokovic said the speculation was getting out of control.
“What (is there) to say? I've lost that match. I don't know if you're trying to create a story about that match or for that matter any of the matches of the top players losing in the early rounds. I think it's just absurd,” Djokovic said.
“It's not true.
“My response is that there's always going to be, especially these days when there is a lot of speculation - this is now the main story in tennis, in sports world - there's going to be a lot of allegations,” Djokovic said.
“I said everything I needed to say two days ago. Until somebody comes out with the real proof and evidence, it's only a speculation for me.”
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