Police sources have suggested that the tennis match between Bernabé Zapata Miralles and Dudi Sela has flagged ‘irregular patterns’, according to a report from L’Equipe.
The second set, which lasted less than 20 minutes, is said to be the main focus of the reports. Miralles gained a 6-3, 6-0 victory in less than an hour – with a total of 32 points placed in the second set and Sela only winning seven of them.
The match is now the subject of verifications by the competent authorities, due to alerts recorded on bets that were ‘abnormally high’ and the ‘suspicious’ progress in the second set.
The source explained that these unusual bets were placed on the game in Cyprus, Ukraine and Armenia, which meant that authorities explored the possibility of match-fixing, but no formal investigation has yet been confirmed.
At this moment in time, there is no evidence to claim that either players were involved in the illegal activity. L’Equipe however also reported that there has been a 177% increase in online bets concerning the French Open over a five-year period to 128M euros in 2021.
Sela is ranked outside the world’s top 400 but is in the qualifying draw through the use of a protected ranking, and he has only played in two singles tournaments this season so far after confirming in January that 2022 would be his last as a professional.
On the other hand, Miralles secured a place in the French Open main draw on Thursday after coming from a set down to beat Luca Nardi 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
French daily newspaper, Le Parisien, quoted the French Tennis Federation (FFT) on the matter, which said: “There is no business.”
Tennis remains one of the most common sports for betting abnormalities, with the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) reporting 42 suspicious cases during the first quarter of the year.