When it comes to betting in sports, a mixed doubles first round match between two teams who do not exactly set those pulses racing is not what you would expect tens of thousands of dollars to pour in. And if that does happen, it does raise more than an eyebrow or two, which is precisely what went down with the Australian Open first round mixed doubles match between Lara Arruabarrena/David Marrero and Andrea Hlavackova and Lukasz Kubot.
Prior to this obviously low-profile match on Court No.6 in Melbourne, vast swathes of money poured in on a victory for Hlavackova and Kubot, leading one big website to suspend betting on the match, according to a report on the New York Times.
"We saw a small number of people placing a large amount of money," Mark Blume, the head of sportsbook of the website Pinnacle Sports, was quoted as saying by NYT. "In context, these matches are rather small. That means that any aggressive betting behaviour is very easy to detect on our side."
Hlavackova and Kubot won the match 6-0, 6-3, with Marrero citing a knee injury for the Spanish team's poor performance in the first round.
Just to put the betting into perspective, this particular match saw total bets of above $25000 pour in, much before the match even started, while three other mixed doubles matches which were scheduled for around the same time saw betting of a combined $2000.
"We have a specialist team who monitor our markets and work closely with sports governing bodies, including the TIU (Tennis Integrity Unit), to investigate any suspicious betting patterns that arise," James Midmer, the spokesman for another betting website Betfair, said.
"Due to the nature of this team's work, we can't comment on speculation surrounding individual sports and events."
The tennis world is already swirling after BBC and Buzzfeed broke a story on alleged match-fixing which includes 16 players from the top 50, eight of which played at this year's Australian Open.