I want to hear names of fixers: Federer

Roger Federer regards the spectre of match-fixing as serious but the Swiss superstar is unhappy with speculation regarding the issue in tennis.

A joint BBC-BuzzFeed report claimed 16 players, including “winners of grand slam titles”, had been “repeatedly flagged to the Tennis Integrity Unit” over the past decade.

Federer, who spent most of his press conference on Monday discussing the issue, hit out at the lack of clarity.

“Who? What? It’s like thrown around. It’s so easy to do that,” Federer said after making light work of Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round of the Australian Open.

“I would like to hear the name. I would love to hear names.

“Then at least it’s concrete stuff and you can actually debate about it.

“Was it the player? Was it the support team? Who was it? Was it before? Was it a doubles player, a singles player? Which slam?

“It’s so all over the place. It’s nonsense to answer something that is pure speculation.”

The 17-time grand slam winner added it didn’t matter whether he had been approached or not.

“I haven’t. It’s a bit farfetched, all these things,” he said.

Federer was unsure how prevalent the illegal activity was.

“Clearly for a few years now we know this is very serious. Got to do everything about it to keep the sport clean. It’s vital, there’s no doubt about it,” he said.

“It’s just really important that all the governing bodies and all the people involved take it very seriously.

“There’s more pressure on these people now maybe because of this story, which is a good thing.

“There’s always more you can do … hopefully there’s more funding to it.”

Federer was peppered with questions about the report on Monday night.

The Open’s third seed preferred to discuss his 6-2 6-1 6-2 win over Georgian Basilashvili.

Federer was broken in the opening set but otherwise cruised to victory in one hour and 12 minutes.

The 34-year-old was sick at this month’s Brisbane International, where he lost the final in straight sets to Canada’s Milos Raonic.

Federer looked back to his best on Monday, striking 31 winners.

“I feel good,” Federer said.

“I’m feeling much better than in Brisbane.

“It definitely gives me a bit of lift and confidence.

“I had some decent matches in Brisbane but it was all under a cloud, knowing that I wasn’t 100 per cent.”

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