Tennis: Probe under way into suspicious Alexandr Dolgopolov betting patterns

Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine returns a shot to Nick Kyrgios of Australia during Day 5 of the Western & Southern Open at the Linder Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio on Aug 16, 2017.
Alexandr Dolgopolov of Ukraine returns a shot to Nick Kyrgios of Australia during Day 5 of the Western & Southern Open at the Linder Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio on Aug 16, 2017.PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

London (AFP) - Suspicious betting patterns involving Ukraine's former top-20 player Alexandr Dolgopolov in his match last weekend at the Winston-Salem ATP tournament has prompted the Tennis Integrity Unity (TIU) to investigate.

Dolgopolov, presently ranked 63rd in the world but who reached a career-high ranking of 13 in January 2012, lost 3-6, 3-6 to Brazilian Thiago Monteiro, who is ranked 114th, in their first-round clash.

The TIU were alerted because the 28-year-old Ukrainian's odds drifted spectacularly before the match got under way with some bookmakers going so far as to suspend their market on the tie.

"The Tennis Integrity Unit was made aware of concerns over betting patterns during the match between Alexandr Dolgopolov and Thiago Monteiro at the ATP World Tour event in Winston-Salem, USA, on Sunday (Aug 20)," read the TIU statement.

"As with all match alerts, the TIU will assess, make a judgement and take appropriate action on the information received through its cooperative agreements with betting operators."

The TIU is in the midst of investigating three possible cases in England - two qualifying ties for Wimbledon and one at the Grand Slam event itself.

The TIU also stressed that alerts do not mean that the games were fixed and their painstaking investigations can take anything from weeks to months.