Making quick and easy money by throwing a tennis match or game is tempting and all too easy, Australian five-time major winner Paul McNamee says.
For the second-straight year, the lead-up to the Australian Open, which McNamee used to run, has been tainted by talk of match-fixing.
Last year, news of widespread fixing in the sport distracted from the first day at Melbourne Park.
This time around, there have been match-fixing allegations leveled against Australian boys’ champion Oliver Anderson and former player Nic Lindahl received a seven-year ban on Tuesday.
And McNamee, who won doubles titles at the Australian Open in 1979 and 1983, and Wimbledon in 1980, 1982 and 1985, said it was easy to see how a low-ranked player would fall into the trap.
He added that if one is not known, living in poverty and got nothing to lose, then one might get desperate and do something stupid .
Pat Cash, who won the Wimbledon singles title in 1987, said he could understand how players would be tempted, but said he was not sure exactly what the answer is.
Majors must lead the way in boosting qualifying prize money
To make a living on the tour a player would need to make about $100,000, according to McNamee, who said it was up to the grand slams to lead the charge.
He said recent bumps in prize money for the early losers at majors had made a huge difference, but it was time to go further and award players $20,000 for making it through qualifying at all major tournaments — a mark the Australian Open has already hit.
The total Australian Open purse was bumped 14 per cent to a record $50 million this year.
A first-round loser in the main draw will receive $50,000, up 30 per cent from last year’s $38,500, and the prize money across all qualifying rounds received a 39 per cent boost from 2016.