Police in Paris swooped on Roland Garros on Thursday evening to arrest Russian doubles specialist Yana Sizikova in relation to a match-fixing allegation at last year’s French Open.
The 26-year-old was taken into custody, having played and lost in the first round of the 2021 doubles event.
The prosecutor’s office in the French capital said the arrest was made for ‘sports bribery and organised fraud for acts likely to have been committed in September 2020’.
Russian tennis player Yana Sizikova has been arrested following match-fixing allegations
The investigation into Sizikova, ranked 101 in doubles, seems to refer to a match in which she and her doubles partner at the time, Madison Brengle, were beaten by Romania’s Andreea Mitu and Patricia Maria Tig.
This week Sizikova and partner Ekaterina Alexandrova were beaten in their opening match.
The French Tennis Federation confirmed the police had been on site but said they were unable to comment further on the matter.
Sizikova (bottom right) served two double faults as she lost her service game at French Open
The Russian then missed another shot altogether during last year’s women’s doubles match
Last September, French prosecutors launched an investigation following the doubles match between Sizikova (pictured) and Madison Brengle vs Andreea Mitu and Patricia Mari
An investigation was launched after bookmakers identified irregular betting activity around the doubles match. It was claimed that hundreds of thousands of euros were bet on Sizikova losing her service game.
The Russian – who lost the match with her partner on September 30 – hit two double-faults while she also failed to reach the ball after being forced back to the baseline, as the fifth game of the second set went the way of Mitu and Mari.
And after that game had finished, the Russian returned to the court inbetween the change of ends to practice her serve, but struck another fault into the net.
And last September, French prosecutors opened an investigation into ‘fraud in an organised group’ and ‘active and passive corruption’ following the doubles match.
Now, according to a police source and the French tennis federation (FFT), the 26-year-old Russian has been arrested but they did not elaborate on the reasons.
A source with direct knowledge of the matter, however, said the arrest was related to match-fixing allegations.
The 26-year-old’s career-high ranking in doubles is 89, achieved back in March 2020
Shamil Tarpischev, president of the Russian Tennis Federation, told the RIA news agency that he had been informed of Sizikova’s detention.
TASS news agency also reported that the Russian embassy in Paris had been informed of the situation.
‘We have not received any documents (regarding the case), so it’s difficult to make an assessment of what has happened,’ Tarpischev was quoted as saying.
Sizikova and her partner Ekaterina Alexandrova were defeated 6-1, 6-1 in Paris on Thursday
Sizikova, who was born in Moscow, now lives between Russia and Spain
Sizikova was arrested shortly after falling to defeat in her first-round doubles match on Thursday at Roland Garros.
Sizikova and her partner Ekaterina Alexandrova were defeated 6-1, 6-1 by Ajla Tomljanovic and Storm Sanders in under an hour.
The Russian Tennis Federation did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The International Tennis Integrity Agency, which deals with corruption in the sport, said they would not comment.
Sizikova, who was born in Moscow and now lives between Russia and Spain, was competing at Roland Garros for the first time in 2020.
Sizikova, 26, has had a career-high ranking of 336 in the women’s singles game, which was achieved back in June 2016.
In doubles, her highest ranking was at No 89, which she reached in March 2020, just months before the incident in question at the French Open.
The Russian is now ranked 101st in the women’s doubles rankings, and she has picked up a total of $206,617 (£146,310) in prize money over her 11-year career.