Saturday, 24 October 2009

Caroline Wozniacki


It's been written about quite widely, but for those who may have missed the story, there was an unusual 1.01 gubbing in tennis earlier this week.

Caroline Wozniacki was leading 7-5, 5-0 against Anne Kremer, when she withdrew. Betfair's rules are that if the first set is completed, then bets stand, so there were a lot of angry punters to be found on the forum.

At 5-5 in the first set, Wozniacki called for the trainer, and had her leg heavily strapped. After that, she went on a tear, winning every game. It seems that she realised her hamstring injury would stop her from competing in the next round, and during the change-over at 3-0 in the second set, Wozniacki's father/coach, speaking to her in Polish, told her that she should get to 5-0 and then quit, thus allowing her opponent to compete in the next round.

The comments, picked up by microphones, were heard by Polish speakers, at least some of whom started laying Wozniacki. One person to his credit, did actually post a warning on the forum about what was going on, and certainly the odds must have reacted as people jumped in to lay the short odds. As Labro, a commenter on an earlier post said, this is clearly one of those moments when, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Does one trust the forum poster claiming that he speaks Polish and what he claims to have heard, or does one trust the odds? I seldom trade tennis, so I don't know what odds were available on this young lady as she extended her lead to 4-0 and 5-0, but they were surely not 1.01.

Personally, I don't think that this was any attempt to manipulate the betting markets for personal profit - simply a 'sporting' gesture to allow Kremer to play in the next round and collect a little more prize money. This was far too obvious for a fix. Contrary to what some punters seem to think, sport is not all about betting, although anyone backing her after the decision to quit was made probably has a right to feel aggrieved. Hard to feel too much sympathy for 1.01 backers though!

5 comments:

Scott Ferguson said...

Totally agree, her father just wanted her to do the honourable thing because she would have only given a walkover in the next round.

Anonymous said...

Agree as well...

Gamblers seem to forget that sport is not all about betting....

Rob The Builder said...

I commented on the match at the time. Your comment 'they were surely not 1.01' is slightly out. In a match where no injury is involved, you would usually be able to lay at 1.01 on a high ranked player leading 7-5, 4-0 or 5-0. Certainly, Wosniaki would have traded close to that at 7-5, 2-0 against her much lower ranked opponent if she had been fit.

Cassini said...

Rob - I meant that they were surely not 1.01 with the Polish speakers laying her or are you saying there was still more money backing her at that price despite the rumours sweeping the forum?

Rob The Builder said...

I think there would always be people taking the odds based simply on the scoreboard, the forum is likely to be monitored by a minority of punters. I'm sure those who were 'in the know' grabbed plenty in the 1.01 to 1.03 range. The odds probably looked a little weird, so anyone with any experience would have stayed away.