Men’s Tennis Ruler-To-Be in Coming Years Alcaraz Accused of Match-Fixing by Ex-owner of Russian Bookmaker

Publication date:

One bad news is always followed by another one, and Carlos Alcaraz is feeling this on his skin right now.

Alcaraz was defeated by Andrey Rublev in the Madrid Open quarterfinals a few days ago, which was a huge upset, both in terms of the current form of the two rivals and odds awarded to both by bookmakers with Android apps (Alcaraz was 1.20 on average, while Rublev was around 4.00). Soon after, a message made its way through the Russian media, accusing the former world’s number one of engaging in match-fixing. This is what businessman and ex-owner of a sportsbook in Russia, Mikhail Zaltsman, wrote in his letters to the ATP (the only recognized men’s tennis tour in the world that’s also responsible for organizing the Masters in the Spanish capital), the Royal Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET), and the Spanish prosecutor’s office.

What Did Alcaraz Precisely Do?

Alcaraz purposefully dropped his service games in the second-round match of the above-mentioned Madrid Masters against Alexander Shevchenko (6-2, 6-1) and the fourth-round match against Jan-Lennard Struff (6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(4)), according to Zaltsman.

These were supposedly the two games that could’ve ended the match in both situations. As for a duel against Struff, Zaltsman is referring to a game at 5-3 in the third set, during which Alcaraz failed to convert four match points when having a serve.

In the case of a match against Shevchenko, Alcaraz’s service game at the score of 5-0 in the second set is questioned. One loophole in Zaltsman’s story appears here, though: the current world’s number three’s lead in the second set wasn’t 5-0. He built a 3:0 lead early in the match, dropped his service, and then won three more games to seal the victory, concluding with a break.

How Is It Said That Alcaraz Was Able to Rig Matches?

“Convincing evidence linking tennis player Alcaraz to gangsters“, is what Zaltsman claims to have.

The scheme is straightforward if you ask the Russian. It’s said that the fraudsters connected to Alcaraz placed live bets on his rival at crucial points, hoping they’d prevail in a particular game. They won big because there were high odds of such an occurrence.

Furthermore, because the matches are played in Spain, many people watch them and wager on Alcaraz, therefore Zaltsman claims that it went unnoticed. As a result, the total number of wagers on Alcaraz and against him ended up being roughly equal, with very significant amounts that could be placed to bet on Alcaraz’s rivals. ”And given that, on the other hand, the odds are diametrically opposed to the small odds of bets on Alcaraz, in case of victory, gigantic sums are obtained,” explained the businessman from Russia. However, he didn’t say what exactly Alcaraz’s connection with the gang groups was.

Are There Really Gangster Groups in Tennis?

Actually, they exist. For example, in 2018, the police busted a syndicate in Belgium, which consisted of the organizers of the match-fixing deals and several players.

A similar group was found in Spain a little earlier. In all instances, Armenian nationals who subsequently came to be known as the Armenian mafia were reportedly involved in the arrangements, according to Spanish media. Police claim that they threatened and bought off players. Ultimately, five Armenians were accused of participating in a criminal organization, forging documents to open accounts on betting platforms, corruption, and money laundering. The legal procedures against them are still in progress.
Who’s Mikhail Zaltsman? There’s Controversy Surrounding Him for Many Years
A decade ago, Zaltsman had a bookmaker company „Utkin, Nobel, and Malenkov“, which shut down soon afterward.

But before that, Zaltsman stated that his primary line of work was ship cleaning. He also worked with food companies, rented real estate, and provided consultancy services. Pricesly that year, he was detained on suspicion of hooliganism after smashing a window at the radio station’s office of a radio he owned and beating a private security firm employee with a baton.

Zaltsman used to extensively promote American football in Russia, and in 2013 he even invited an NHL quarterback Tim Tebow to join his Moscow squad, offering the ex-Denver Broncos member a million dollars for a couple of games. The player declined. Early in the 2010s, Zaltsman prepared to personally cover Fabio Capello’s salary in order to keep him as the head coach of the Russian football national team, and he extended an offer of finance to Spartak.

More tips on Tennis

Medvedev

Medvedev

Sinner

Sinner

March 29, 2024 | 1 PM local time


Tournament
2024 Miami Open
Djoković

Djoković

Sinner

Sinner

January 26, 2024 | 02:00 local time


Tournament
Australian Open 2024
De Minaur

De Minaur

Cobolli

Cobolli

January 19, 2024 | 11 a.m. local time


Tournament
Australian Open 2024
Shevchenko

Shevchenko

O’Connell

O’Connell

January 10, 2023 | 11:30 a.m. local time


Tournament
2024 Adelaide International
Alcaraz

Alcaraz

Djoković

Djoković

June 9, 2023 | 3 p.m. local time


Tournament
2023 French Open