Rafael Nadal says the worst thing about Australian Open boys champion Oliver Anderson being charged with match-fixing is his age – 18.
Nadal was surprised and disappointed to hear the Brisbane teenager was Thursday charged by Victorian police with engaging in conduct that corrupted a betting outcome.
Anderson is expected to appear in Latrobe Valley Magistrates Court on March 2 to face allegations he fixed a match at the Traralgon Challenger tournament last October.
Bookmakers helped detectives with their investigation into the tournament with prize money totalling $US50,000 ($A68,500).
The news comes 12 months after the tennis world was shocked by allegations of match-fixing at the top level of the game, including suspicions that 16 top-50 players had thrown matches over the previous decade.
The claims which were strenuously denied by leading players before and during last year’s Australian Open.
Nadal, who won through to the quarter-finals of the Brisbane International on Thursday night, said he’d never seen evidence of professional players fixing matches.
“You get tired about this kind of stuff, but the most important thing is (to) fight against these kind of things,” the 14-time grand slam champion said.
“And he is young. That’s even the worst part.”
Nadal said the fact Oliver had been arrested showed the sport was doing it’s best to combat match-fixing but bemoaned the timing yet again.
“(It) is obviously negative, always in the first month of the season (it) starts to happen,” he said. “Talking stories about our sport always before the Australian Open, and that’s something, you know, I have been a lot of years on tour and happen almost every year.
“I don’t see matches that people give up or throw the match, you know. Maybe the lower tournaments maybe is another story, but I don’t want to talk about it, because I really don’t know much.
“I see every (ATP Tour) match people fight, you know, people don’t want to lose.”
Former Australian professional Nick Lindahl was given a 12-month good behaviour bond and fined $1000 in April last year after being found guilty of fixing a match in 2013 and attempting to conceal the evidence.