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and this week's suspicious tennis match is....

Crivoi vs Istomin in Bastad, Sweden!

Victor Crivoi, a journeyman from Romania was backed from 1.81 into 1.06 on Betfair before the match, and the 2-0 sets betting from 2.74 to as low as 1.09. Denis Istomin had retired at Wimbledon with a back injury and it appears as if he wasn't fit to be resuming on the tour. You can't blame the bloke for trying when points and prizemoney is at stake, but obviously people knew he wasn't ready to play.

Every cynic is gonig to jump on this and scream fix. Personally I'd rather give the benefit of the doubt to the player, making every attempt to play despite not being fit. We've all seen footballers in various codes take the field when they shouldn't have. Men are stubborn beasts, and we will try to play through pain, especially when money, and in this case, ranking points (he'd get neither and probably a fine if he pulled out and was replaced by a lucky loser) are at stake. His ranking of 68 means he gets into some ATP events in the main draw, but has to qualify for many others, or play challengers, like he has for most of his career, often competing in challenger finals for as much as the R1 or R2 loser's cheque here. He turned up, hoped to be fit and pride got the better of him. Or sheer stubbornness because it had already cost him a bundle to get here so he might as well cover his expenses. You can't hide as an injured player in an individual sport.

Let me stress this is just a personal opinion, and if this is discovered to be a crooked match, then throw the book at him. But I just can't stand forumites who instantly declare a match has to be fixed simply because a major plunge was landed. An understanding of psychology and human emotion makes it much more complicated than that....

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