The Tennis Integrity Unit, an anti-corruption watchdog, ruled today that Argentinian player Nicolas Kicker fixed two professional matches three years ago. Kicker, currently ranked No. 84 on the men’s tour, was “found guilty of contriving the outcome” of two matches in 2015—one at the ATP Challenger in Padova, Italy in June, and one at the ATP Challenger in Barranquilla, Colombia in September.
Kicker was also responsible for “failing to report a corrupt approach and of not co-operating with a TIU investigation into the allegations made against him,” according to the organization’s statement. Official sanctions have yet to be determined, but Kicker will be barred from entering or competing in any professional tennis event until then.
Back in 2015, the sports blogger Ian DW did thorough, amusing work describing the unusual betting patterns around Kicker’s match in Barranquilla and isolating the moments where his tanking seemed most blatant. Kicker’s opponent, Giovanni Lapentti, slowly realized that Kicker was throwing the match and had to awkwardly play around that reality. In one especially funny sequence, Kicker dumps in two consecutive double faults and performs mock exasperation after each, only to win the game anyway due to Lapentti’s return errors: