Australian Open epic sees Kyrgios beaten in five sets by Thiem


The Australian Open action over the weekend has both reduced the field in the Men’s Singles event and improved the chances of anyone backing the top three as Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev and Rafael Nadal all made stride towards the business end of the year’s first Grand Slam.Others fell by the wayside, however, including both men who were involved in the game of the Australian Open so far.Kyrgios Leads by Two Sets, Loses in FiveThe roar of approval for Nick Kyrgios in taking on Dominic Thiem could have been heard from the moon as the bad boy of men’s tennis clashed with a player he had previously described as exciting as “watching paint dry”.It was Kyrgios who started best, up to all his old tricks to gain every advantage he could against a tough opponent. From under-arm serving to vicious forehands let loose with an almost personal level of anger against the ball for daring to cross the net, Kyrgios raced into a two-set before his opponent had a chance to set himself.Thereafter, however, Thiem’s immense experience counted. Grinding himself back into the contest, the Austrian frustrated his opponent before drawing level. In the fifth and final set, Kyrgios had chances to put pressure on his opponent but too often they quickly slid away to leave his own serve to be tested. In the end, Thiem did enough to force the break and get over the line.The Field NarrowsDespite that victory, the quick turnaround time determined Thiem’s Round of 16 match against Grigor Dimtrov would go against him, with a simple straight sets win for the Bulgarian meaning he progressed. With Novak Djokovic making it past Milos Raonic despite a troubling abdominal injury, the Serb’s 7-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory would be bettered by German Alexander Zverev, who won 6-4, 7-6, 6-3 against Djokovic’s fellow Serb Dusan Lajovic.Elsewhere, Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev continues to fulfill his dreams and although he’s a 66/1 outsider, is a dangerous opponent for anyone left in the draw. He will play Dimitrov hoping the big Bulgarian slips up.With Rafael Nadal and Daniil Medvedev possibly on a collision course to renew their 2019 U.S. Open rivalry, each man will be trying to catch the other on a bad day.Here are the latest Men’s Singles odds to win the Australian Open title:Australian Open Men’s Singles Latest Odds(via Oddschecker):Novak Djokovic – 7/4Daniil Medvedev – 3/1 Rafael Nadal – 5/1Alexander Zverev – 7/1Stefanos Tsitsipas – 12/1Andrey Rublev – 12/1Grigor Dimitrov – 12/1

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Drama created over tennis data feeds reaching gamblers first


The Daily Mail, possibly believing they’ve uncovered the sports scandal, are reporting the scandalous deals data providers make. The British tabloid has revealed their big investigation into data provided by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) reaching gambling operators before the general public.In a report from their SportsMail section, they declare:“Under the terms of contracts with data companies agreed between the ATP and IMG, and the WTA and StatsPerform, websites owned or funded by bookmakers are permitted to publish live scores ahead of sport’s official channels in the hope fans will be drawn to them and then be tempted to gamble.”They go on to note that this is a deliberate practice, and suggest that it’s done so as to push the public to use gambling sites to check scores, rather than other sources of data.“WTA has licensed its live data to StatsPerform to ensure those fans who choose to bet on tennis legally have access to real-time, official WTA scores through licensed betting operators and platform providers,” a WTA spokesperson told the outlet. “We are working on improving the speed of the data on WTA platforms as it is a priority for us.”“There’s a deliberate delay built in and a clause in the contract stipulating that the scores cannot be published contemporaneously,” a source said. “There is a significant commercial value to having the fastest data, particularly for bookmakers.”The Daily Mail goes on to mix and match facts to suit their attack on the practice. They note prior studies that suggest Tennis is a fertile ground for corruption, and a recommendation from the “Independent Review of Integrity in Tennis” which suggested an end to the sales of live feed data.The overall argument of the piece is subtle, but summed up by the comment section that follows: This is an underhanded way the gambling operators are corrupting the sports-loving people of Britain.Anyone who follows the gambling industry knows better. The real target of corrupt actors aren’t the Caroline Wozniacki’s of the world (who the Daily Mail seems to have found the story from), but rather the low level matches that provide no data to sports betting operators. Syndicates pay players to lose matches and pay them off to make profit, knowing operators without data feeds won’t know the difference.Business is business. If the WTA, ATP and data feed providers can make a bit more money by providing data to gambling outfits first, they’re going to do just that. The average tennis fan may have to wait 30 seconds to see an update, but operators won’t be caught with their pants down by fans who have better data than them.An October panel at Betting on Sports Europe Digital made the point best: If there’s a competitive match, people are going to bet on it. Scaring people away from locally regulated operators, provided with the best data, drives the whole activity underground. That’s bad for the sport, home-grown operators, and the public who want to make a bet too.

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