Tennis players around the world are reacting to yesterday’s bombshell report on the sport’s match-fixing scandal. Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 ranked men’s player in the world, has told ESPN that he was once approached by people who wanted to pay him to lose a match in 2007.
Djokovic said he wasn’t approached directly. Instead, “I was approached through people that were working with me at that time,” he said, making clear that the offer was flat-out rejected. He didn’t even attend the tournament, but he said he still didn’t like the fact that someone even bothered to consider him for such a thing.
“It made me feel terrible because I don’t want to be anyhow linked to this kind of—you know, somebody may call it an opportunity,” he said. “For me, that’s an act of unsportsmanship, a crime in sport honestly. I don’t support it. I think there is no room for it in any sport, especially in tennis.”
This certainly lends further credence to the Buzzfeed/BBC report, and speaks to the quality of the players who may have been involved in rigged matches. Djokovic wasn’t the superstar he is now back in 2007, but he started that year as the 13th ranked men’s player in the world, and finished it ranked third.