Sam Groth reveals he was offered bribe to throw match at Aegon Open

The Aussie star was offered "a lot of money" to lose a match in straight sets in Nottingham last month.

Sam Groth reveals he was offered bribe to throw match at Aegon Open
Groth in action at the Aegon Open in Nottingham (Photo: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images Europe)

Australian tennis star Sam Groth has revealed that he was offered a bribe to throw a match in straight sets at the Aegon Open in Nottingham last month.

The 29-year-old was approached over social media and was offered “a lot of money” to deliberately lose a match in straight sets. 

Tennis officials have vowed to stamp out match-fixing at all levels of the sport, with cases rife at Challenger and Futures level.

Groth advanced to the semifinals in Nottingham – falling to the Italian Thomas Fabbiano – before reporting the incident to officials.

‘Hard to believe’ offer

“It was a lot of money, but for me, there’s no temptation there,” he told the Australian newspaper The Sunday Herald.

“Mostly because I’ve played this sport for long enough now and respect it, and I’m not going to throw it all away for a quick earn. I think guys who haven’t given themselves a chance to play in the main draw of a Grand Slam, or don’t see a future in what they’re doing, are enticed by those offers.”

Groth is adamant that match-fixing is “well and truly a problem” in tennis and says those looking to influence scores can easily interact with those on the circuit. 

“This is the bizarre thing, everything is online now, everything is in your face,” added the Aussie. 

“A guy’s not calling you on a phone, he’s sending you a message on a social platform.”

A deep-rooted issue

12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic revealed in the past that he was offered an inducement of $200,000 to throw a match in 2006.

In December 2016 Spanish authorities detained 34 people, including six tennis players, involved in match-fixing at Challenger and Futures events in Spain and Portugal, a network that reportedly made around $500,000.

Former Australian Open juniors champion, Oliver Anderson, was suspended in January by the Tennis Integrity Unit (TUI) over suspicions he was involved in match-fixing at a tournament in Australia last year.