Australian Open

Hewitt lashes match-fixing claims

2016-01-21 15:40
Lleyton Hewitt (AFP)

Melbourne - Retiring Lleyton Hewitt slammed as "an absolute farce" his name being linked with match-fixing claims after bowing out of his final Australian Open on Thursday.

The dual Grand Slam champion and former world number one took aim after an anonymous online blog linked him to match-fixing allegations that have rocked the sport.

Hewitt went down in three torrid sets to Spaniard David Ferrer in a second round match to end his playing career in his 20th and last Australian Open campaign.

The feisty Australian went on the attack during his post-match press conference, calling the claims "absurd" and a "farce."

"I think it's a joke to deal with it. Obviously, there's no possible way. I know my name's now been thrown into it," he told reporters.

"I don't think anyone here would think that I've done anything (like) corruption or match-fixing. It's just absurd.

"For anyone that tries to go any further with it, then good luck. Take me on with it.

"Yeah, it's disappointing. I think throwing my name out there with it makes the whole thing an absolute farce."

World number one Novak Djokovic has also called for those making corruption allegations to provide proof after blasting as "absurd" an Italian newspaper which suggested he could have thrown a match.

"It's not true," the 28-year-old Serb told a tense press conference at the Australian Open on Wednesday when asked about the suggestion in Tuttosport newspaper about his 2007 defeat by Frenchman Fabrice Santoro at the Paris Masters.

The BBC and BuzzFeed News claimed on the eve of the Australian Open that 16 top players had repeatedly been suspected of involvement in fixed matches but never faced action.

A host of players have called for any evidence of alleged wrongdoing to be made public

Read more on:    australian open  |  lleyton hewitt  |  tennis
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