Tennis: Djokovic calls for match-fixing 'proof'

Djokovic spoke out after it was claimed that a group of 16 top players were suspected of fixing matches.
Djokovic spoke out after it was claimed that a group of 16 top players were suspected of fixing matches.PHOTO: REUTERS

MELBOURNE (AFP) - World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has called for those making match-fixing allegations against tennis to provide some proof.

The Serbian reigning Australian Open champion described the current speculation as "absurd" and said it needs to stop unless someone can provide concrete evidence the allegations are true.

The tennis corruption scandal regards claims made by the BBC and BuzzFeed that a group of 16 top players had repeatedly been suspected of fixing matches but never faced action.

"My response is that there's always going to be, especially these days when there is a lot of speculations, this is now the main story in tennis, in (the) sports world, there's going to be a lot of allegations," said Djokovic following his straight sets, second round victory over French teenager Quentin Halys in Melbourne on Wednesday.

"I have nothing more to say. I said everything I needed to say two days ago. You know, until somebody comes out with the real proof and evidence, it's only a speculation for me."

Djokovic, 28, was also asked about a match he lost at the Paris Masters in 2007 to Frenchman Fabrice Santoro when the Serb was suffering from his wisdom teeth.

Certain media allegations claim that match had been targeted by match-fixers.

"What it is 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," said Djokovic.

"Anybody can create a story about any match. That's my point. There hasn't been too many matches where top players lost in (the) last decade or so in (the) early rounds.

"You can pick any match that you like that the top player lost and just create a story out of it.

"I think it's not supported by any kind of proof, any evidence, any facts. It's just speculation. So I don't think there is a story about it."