Russian tennis player files lawsuit in match-fixing case


PARIS — The Russian tennis player who was arrested in Paris last month on suspicion of match-fixing at last year’s French Open has started legal proceedings for libel and slander.

In a message to The Associated Press, lawyer Frederic Belot said Yana Sizikova filed her lawsuit on Friday.

“Through this complaint, Yana Sizikova intends to have her status as a victim in this case fully recognized and to ensure that those who started rumors damaging her reputation are prosecuted and convicted,” Belot said.

Sizikova, who is world ranked 109th in doubles, was arrested and briefly placed in custody after competing in a French Open doubles match. She denied the allegations.

The prosecutor’s office said last month that Sizikova was arrested for “sports bribery and organized fraud for acts likely to have been committed in September 2020.”

The case was opened last October by a French police unit specializing in betting fraud and match-fixing. It previously worked with Belgian authorities investigating suspect matches at the lower levels of professional tennis.

The prosecutor’s office said the probe centered on suspicions about one match at Roland Garros last year. It did not specify the match. German newspaper Die Welt and French sports daily L’Equipe said at the time there were suspicious betting patterns in the first round of a women’s doubles match on Sept. 30.

On that day, Sizikova and partner Madison Brengle of the United States played on Court No. 10 against Romanian players Andreea Mitu and Patricia Maria Tig. Sizikova was broken to love serving in the fifth game of the second set, during which she double-faulted twice.

Le Parisien reported that tens of thousands of euros (dollars) were bet with several operators in different countries on the Romanian players winning that game.

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