Former top-20 player Alexandr Dolgopolov came under the scrutiny of tennis’s anti-corruption group last week because of strange betting patterns around one of his matches. The Tennis Integrity Unit tends to speak in generalities rather than naming particular contests, but when asked, a spokesperson confirmed that the group was investigating the Winston-Salem Open match between Dolgopolov and Thiago Monteiro. After today’s first-round victory at the U.S. Open, the Ukrainian was asked about the scrutiny, and didn’t handle it well.
Dolgopolov objected to the fact that news of the investigation had spread before the TIU had reached its conclusions, and he seemed annoyed by the line of questioning. All of his quotes are worth reading, but here’s a taste:
“You want my honest answer? I don’t give a f*** to be honest because it’s like a circus.
When asked if he had been approached to fix a match, he noted that he was not active on social networks:
The exchange became heated when Dolgopolov was asked if he had ever been approached to fix a match.
“Er, no, not really,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of friends on social networks. If you give your phone too many times, probably, but no, not that I remember.”
He also referenced his general physical condition. For context: Dolgopolov suffers from Gilbert’s syndrome, which can leave him severely fatigued.
Dolgopolov insisted he was trying to win the match against Monteiro, saying: “I was giving my best effort. I wasn’t playing my best.
“I was doing a lot of practice before because I wasn’t feeling good with (Nick) Kyrgios in Cincinnati. I was physically weak. I blacked out in that match, I wasn’t happy with my physical condition and I knew by New York I needed to get some work done.”
The Ukrainian cooperated with the TIU in a 2011 incident involving similar suspicions, and was exonerated afterward.