Corrupt conduct charge for Queensland tennis teen

BRISBANE'S Australian Open junior tennis champion Oliver Anderson's family has revealed he is co-operating with Victoria Police investigations into alleged match-fixing at a tournament he played last year.

Police said yesterday an 18-year-old Queensland man will appear before Latrobe Magistrates Court on March 2 after detectives from Victoria Police's Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit laid charges of engaging in conduct that corrupts a betting outcome.

Anderson, 18 , played the $50,000 Challenger tournament in Victoria, losing in the second round, in which police were examining irregular betting activities.

Oliver Anderson after winning the junior title at the Australian Open this year.
Oliver Anderson after winning the junior title at the Australian Open this year. Courier Mail

"Oliver is co-operating fully with authorities,'' an Anderson family spokesman told The Courier-Mail last night.

"He now awaits the legal process.''

The Courier-Mail reported in November that Anderson, who had hip surgery since winning the 2016 Australian Open junior title, had decided to take an indefinite break from tennis.

Governing bodies announced in January they were examining practices in combating gambling's effects on tennis after a British media report that players up to Grand Slam level were colluding over betting stings in the sport.

The charge has raised the issue of betting corruption in tennis in the countdown to the Australian Open, which starts on Monday week.

In April, Australian player Nick Lindahl, 27, was convicted of using corrupt conduct information and fined $1000 for his involvement in match-fixing in a 2013 tournament in Toowoomba.

Queensland junior Oliver Anderson in action in the Australian Open Boys final this year.
Queensland junior Oliver Anderson in action in the Australian Open Boys final this year. Courier Mail

The Brisbane right-hander is ranked No.743 in the world.

In November, Tennis Australia confirmed that the 18-year-old would not be playing in the big January tournaments.

Last January, Anderson excelled beyond his 17 years at senior level by qualifying for the Brisbane International singles main draw before losing his first match in an ATP Tour main draw tournament.

Anderson's coach Wayne Arthurs said in November that TA supported his decision to seek time away from the sport.

"Ollie has struggled during his comeback,'' Arthurs said in November.

"He's decided to take a break and we support his decision. Ollie is only 18 and his wellbeing is the most important thing at this time. We would love to see him back on court, and will continue to support him any way we can."

Anderson won the Australian Open junior title at Melbourne Park, a title which has been previously by Australia's top two ranked men, Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic.

The Brisbane right-hander played two tournaments in May in Korea before another five-months gap between tournaments on the lower-tier Challenge or Futures circuits.

- The Courier-Mail



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