French Open

Yana Sizikova arrested in match-fixing investigation

Russian player detained in case from last year’s tournament

Yana Sizikova is currently world-ranked 101st in doubles and 765th in singles

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SPORT PRESS GROUP

The Russian tennis player Yana Sizikova has been arrested in Paris by French police as part of a match-fixing investigation. Sizikova, a 26-year-old doubles specialist, was taken into custody on Thursday night in relation to an investigation dating back to October for sports corruption and organized gang fraud.

Sizikova lost 6-1, 6-1 in her French Open first-round doubles match earlier on Thursday while partnering her compatriot Ekaterina Alexandrova against Australian pair Ajla Tomljanovic and Storm Sanders. According to Le Parisien, Sizikova was arrested while leaving a massage session after her match and her hotel room was searched before her arrest.

The arrest relates to last year’s tournament when bookmakers issued alerts for abnormal betting patterns during Sizikova’s first-round women’s doubles match alongside Madison Brengle of the United States, which they lost 7-6 (8), 6-4 to the Romanian duo of Andreea Mitu and Patricia Maria Tig.

During that encounter, hundreds of thousands of euros were reportedly wagered on a break of serve at 2-2 in set two. Sizikova was culpable for three of the points conceded during her service game, including two double faults as she lost her serve to love.

According to the Russian news wire Tass, Sizikova’s lawyer has announced that she denies the charges against her and is unsure whether she would be allowed to leave France after being released from custody. Sizikova could face up to five years in prison and a €500,000 fine if she is found guilty of sports corruption.

Sizikova is currently world-ranked 101st in doubles and 765th in singles. She has earned a total of $206,617 prize money over her 11-year career and until she improved her ranking in recent years, she had spent much of her career competing at lower level tournaments on the ITF circuit.

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