Sunday, November 25, 2007

Time for a comeback?

P. Sampras def R. Federer 7-6, 6-4

Ok, it was just an exhibition, and he did lose two previous matches (also close ones), but that's a pretty impressive result for an old, retired guy. Who wouldn't want to see these two in a Wimbledon final?

But tennis has bigger things on its collective mind. The ATP investigation into match fixing has elicited statements from numerous players that someone had asked them to tank a match for money, usually around $150,000. No one had admitted to taking either the money or a dive, of course. That said, the word on fourth ranked Nikolay Davydenko is damning. His loss to #74 Vassallo Arguello saw $7 million in bets voided by Betfair, a UK sports betting site.

This is always going to be a problem when you can make vastly more money betting on a sport than playing it. Sooner or later, someone is going to want to bet, as a trial lawyer does, only when they believe they know the outcome in advance. Add tennis to horse racing, basketball, boxing, soccer, cricket... the list is practically endless.

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