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TENNIS

‘I’m no cheat’: Arruabarrena of Spain denies matching fixing

Lara Arruabarrena, one half of the Spanish mixed doubles team accused of throwing a match at the Australian Open, has said she is prepared for a full investigation to prove her innocence.

'I'm no cheat': Arruabarrena of Spain denies matching fixing
Photo: AFP

The New York Times reported earlier this week that ahead of their match against Lukasz Kubot and Andrea Hlavackova a large amount of money had been backed on Arruabarrena and compatriot David Marrero to lose.

The report claimed the amount wagered was far higher than usual on a first round mixed doubles match with betting firm Pinnacle Sports telling the paper they suspended betting on the match 13 hours before it began.

Kubot and Hlavackova won the match 6-0, 6-3.

“Before cheating I would break my raquet into a thousand pieces with my own hands,” Arruabarrena said in a statement.

“I am not a cheat. I have not fixed a game in my life. So, I am here, ready for them to investigate me from top to bottom if it is necessary. I don't have anything to hide.”

The Times' report was also contradicted by two major betting companies.

The Sydney Morning Herald said William Hill and Betfair kept betting open for the match and logged no unusual activity.   

The allegation came after claims last week that players who had been in the sport's top 50 had repeatedly fallen under suspicion but had never faced action.

In response the tennis authorities announced on Wednesday an independent review into their fight against corruption.   

The ATP, WTA, ITF and the heads of all four Grand Slams said the review was aimed at shaking up tennis's opaque anti-corruption body, and called for governments worldwide to make match-fixing a criminal offence.

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TENNIS

IN PICS: Rafa Nadal weds childhood sweetheart in Mallorca

Rafael Nadal married his partner of 14 years, Xisca Perello, at a castle in Mallorca on Saturday.

IN PICS: Rafa Nadal weds childhood sweetheart in Mallorca
Photo: Fundacion Rafa Nadal

Nadal, the 19-time grand slam champion, tied the knot with 31-year-old Perello at La Fortaleza, with a reported 350 guests invited to a private ceremony.

Juan Carlos I, the king of Spain from 1975 to 2014, was believed to be among those in attendance while the Michelin-star chef, Quique Dacosta, was reportedly in charge of catering.

The newlyweds shared some official photos of the day through the Fundacion Rafa Nadal, the NGO the tennis player set up on Mallorca

Photo: Fundacion Rafa Nadal

 

Nadal, 33, met his wife through his younger sister Maribel, a childhood friend of Perello.

They started dating in 2005 when they were both teenagers after meeting several years before.


Photo: Fundacion Rafa Nadal

The couple announced their engagement in January and revealed that the tennis ace had proposed on a romantic trip to Rome last May but chose to  keep the news private.

 

Perello, has always shunned the media spotlight although she has been pictured courtside at some of Nadal’s biggest matches.


Nadal kisses Perello after winning against France's Gael Monfils in the final tennis match at the Monte-Carlo ATP Masters Series Tournament in Monaco on April 17, 2016. 

But she isn't always there. In a 2011 interview with The Daily Telegraph, Perello explained: “He needs his space when he is competing, and just the idea of me hanging around and waiting on his needs all day tires me out.

“It would asphyxiate me. And then he would have to be worrying about me… No. If I followed him everywhere, I think there's a risk we might stop getting along.”

She works in insurance and is a business graduate but also serves as project director for the Rafa Nadal Foundation, the charity which Nadal launched almost ten years ago.

In an interview with sports newspaper Marca last year, the world number 2 hinted that he wouldn't be ready to start a family until he had retired from tennis. 

'I keep my commitment with tennis and my happiness', Nadal told Marca. 'I enjoy both in tennis and outside it. I have a girlfriend too and I am not alone to take decisions.

“Having family? I don't know, things are not easy to be predict. At this age, I thought that I would have already been a former player and that I would have started a family.”

READ ALSO: Rafa Nadal donates €1million to help victims of Mallorca floods 

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