© Ella Ling

Tennis balls

How to avoid being corrupted


How to avoid being corrupted by the match-fixers:

Remember why you started playing the sport
At the lower levels of the Tour, making money, or at least enough to make a decent living is a tough, tough battle. Unless you make it big when you’re young, a tennis player’s professional life is a relatively short window, maybe a 10-year chance to bank some cash. The temptation to take some money, perhaps not even for losing a match but, say, losing a set, must be huge for many, but it’s not just worth it in the end. If you cheat, and you’re caught, not only will you be vilified by your peers and not only is your reputation mud, your post-tennis earning potential is likely to be zero.

Take care with the company you keep
It’s easy for players to get carried away with the attention they receive on the tour and it can be hard to separate the hangers on from those who might have an ulterior motive. It may seem perfectly normal to say you woke up with a stiff neck that morning, or that you saw another player having his wrist taped up, but you just never know what someone might use that information for.

Report any approach, however innocuous it may seem
This is actually now in the rules for the players, both men and women, so the players should be well aware of what to do if and when some rogue comes calling. The importance in doing so is obvious but if you do not report any approach to the relevant authorities at your first opportunity you could find yourself in trouble.

Don’t get yourself a reputation
And if you don’t want to be approached, don’t get yourself a bad rep. Those players who quit at the first sign of trouble in a match, on a regular basis, are prime targets for those who might want to test their strength of character. If you’re a fighter, you’ll get better results anyway, and therefore earn more cash.

Keep your mobile phone number to yourself
With the exception of your close friends and people you trust, there is no reason to give out your mobile phone number to those who may wish you to “do them a favour”. Mobile phone records is one way you’ll get caught, anyway, so it is just foolish, full stop.