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Wozniacki’s ‘sporting’ gesture sparks betting probe

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:48

Caroline Wozniacki is under investigation by the WTA over the circumstances of her retirement during her first round match at this week’s Luxembourg Open, it was reported last night.

Wozniacki, the tournament top seed, withdrew while leading local hero Anne Kremer 7-5 5-0 on Tuesday. Despite the lead, the Danish teen, set to play at the season-ending Sony Ericsson WTA Championships next week was clearly suffering with a hamstring injury.

Knowing she would not be able to play in the second round, Wozniacki later explained that she “chose the sporting option” and allowed Kremer to progress.

Leading 3-0 in the second set, her trainer and father Piotr Wozniacki came onto the court, and apparently instructed her to to quit at the next change of ends.

Wozniacki Snr was wearing a microphone as he spoke in his native Polish, which broadcast the instruction to those watching the match on the internet.

He told his daughter that she should pull out as her injury would prevent her playing in the next round, but only after playing more games to “give the crowd a bit more joy first.”

However sporting the gesture might have been, Wozniacki’s decision has drawn complaints and allegations on internet gambling websites. The WTA is said to be investigating, and the matter could be passed to tennis’s anti-corruption unit.

With Wozniacki 100/1 on to win the match on Betfair at the time, a number of gamblers quickly offered odds on her losing or backed Kremer at 40/1.

Her management company, BEST Tennis, is backing the world No.6. “Caroline had an injury to her hamstring and back, and because she was not going to be able to continue to the next round she wanted to be a good sport and allow the other girl to continue playing,” read their statement.

“We understand how it looks, but we would not want this to be blown out of proportion.”

Wozniacki, who denies any wrongdoing, told Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet she was thinking more about Kremer than how the retirement might look.

“I did not think I could play the second round on Thursday,” she said. “So I chose the sporting option, to let her proceed. She is playing at home.”

Elsewhere, it was a good day for the Belgians in Luxembourg yesterday, with qualifier Kirsten Flipkens beat No.3 seed Anabel Medina Garrigues 7-5 6-3 and Yanina Wickmayer continuing her run of form with victory over Alexandra Dulgheru 6-3 7-6(4).

On Tuesday Kim Clijsters set up a second-round date with Patty Schnyder after a 6-2 6-2 demolition of Meghann Shaughnessy. Schynder beat Petra Kvitova 6-4 6-1.

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