Monday 26 September 2016

Video: 'It's absurd' - Novak Djokovic angrily denies claim he lost a game deliberately in 2007

Published 20/01/2016 | 15:59

Novak Djokovic of Serbia stretches for a backhand in his second round match against Quentin Halys of France today
Novak Djokovic of Serbia stretches for a backhand in his second round match against Quentin Halys of France today

Novak Djokovic has denied a claim made in the Italian media that he threw a game in 2007.

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The Serbian world number one, who beat French teenager Quentin Halys earlier today to advance to the Australian Open third round, was asked about the claim in Italian newspaper Tuttosport that he had deliberately lost to now-retired French player Fabrice Santoro at the Paris Masters.

Speaking in his post-game press conference, the 28-year-old said: "It's not true," the Serb said with a shrug and shake of his head. "What it is to say? I've lost that match.

"Anybody can create a story about that match or for that matter any of the matches of the top players losing in the early rounds, I think it's just absurd.

"You can pick any match that you like that the top player lost and just create a story out of it."

Djokovic has previously claimed he was offered £110,000 to lose a first-round match in St Petersburg but says the bribe was turned down before it even reached him.

Earlier this week, an investigation carried out by the BBC and Buzzfeed alleged that over the last decade a core group of 16 players have repeatedly been brought to the attention of the sport's governing bodies over suspicions they have fixed matches.

The report claims all of the 16 players have ranked in the world's top 50 and that more than half of them were playing in the Australian Open first round, which started on Monday.

The BBC said the group also included "winners of grand slam titles".

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