Nishikori surprised by match-fixing allegations


Japanese world number seven Kei Nishikori said he is unaware of the match-fixing allegations that have dominated the headlines on day one of the Australian Open.

As the 104th edition of the Australian Open got underway in Melbourne on Monday, an explosive corruption scandal engulfed the sport, with tennis authorities at the centre of claims they ignored warnings of match-fixing.

A joint investigation undertaken by BuzzFeed News and the BBC alleged a core group of 16 players, including a US Open champion and doubles winners at Wimbledon, had repeatedly been reported for losing after suspicious bets were placed against them.

The ATP denied it ignored the reports, insisting the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) acts on all information received.

Nishikori was asked if the allegations were surprising following his 6-4 6-3 6-3 win over Philipp Kohlschreiber and he told reporters: "Yeah, it is. I didn't know anything.

"It's a little bit surprised, but, I mean, obviously I never, you know, involve with this.

"Actually I have no idea what's going on."

Women's world number one and Australian Open champion Serena Williams also fielded questions from the media after she kicked off her title defence with a 6-4 7-5 victory over Camila Giorgi.

Williams shot down the allegations in her post-match news conference, adding: "When I'm playing, I can only answer for me, I play very hard, and every player I play seems to play hard.

"I think that as an athlete, I do everything I can to be not only great, but historic.

"If that's going on, I don't know about it. I'm kind of sometimes in a little bit of a bubble."