The maestro: The man who built the biggest match-fixing ring in tennis

On the morning of his arrest, Grigor Sargsyan was still fixing matches. Four cellphones buzzed on his nightstand with calls and messages from around the world.

Sargsyan was sprawled on a bed in his parents’ apartment, making deals between snatches of sleep. It was 3 a.m. in Brussels, which meant it was 8 a.m. in Thailand. The W25 Hua Hin tournament was about to start.

Sargsyan was negotiating with professional tennis players preparing for their matches, athletes he had assiduously recruited over years. He needed them to throw a game or a set — or even just a point — so he and a global network of associates could place bets on the outcomes.

That’s how Sargsyan had become rich. As gambling on tennis exploded into a $50 billion industry, he had infiltrated the sport, paying pros more to lose matches, or parts of matches, than they could make by winning tournaments.

Sargsyan had crisscrossed the globe building his roster, which had grown to include more than 180 professional players across five continents. It was one of the biggest match-fixing rings in modern sports, large enough to earn Sargsyan a nickname whispered throughout the tennis world: the Maestro.

This Washington Post investigation of Sargsyan’s criminal enterprise, and how the changing nature of gambling has corrupted tennis, is based on dozens of interviews with players, coaches, investigators, tennis officials and match fixers.


Source: The maestro: The man who built the biggest match-fixing ring in tennis

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