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Ex-professional tennis player Nick Lindahl pleads guilty to match-fixing charge

A former Australian professional tennis player has pleaded guilty in a Sydney court to a corrupt betting charge in a scheme to fix a match in Queensland.

But Nick Lukas Lindahl will fight the allegation he tried to hide evidence related to match fixing.   

Lindahl, 27, was arrested by the NSW Organised Crime Squad at Liberty Grove, in Sydney's inner west, in February last year.

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Tennis player pleads guilty to match-fixing

Ex-professional Australian tennis player Nick Lindahl pleads guilty to a corrupt betting charge in a scheme to fix a match in Queensland in 2013.

His court appearance comes just days after allegations of widespread match fixing rocked the international tennis world on the eve of the Australian Open.

A BBC and BuzzFeed report claimed tennis authorities were repeatedly warned about a core group of 16 players, all of whom have been ranked in the top 50. 

Police prosecutor Sergeant Kate Young said Lindahl informed two men - Matthew Fox and Ryan Wolfenden - that he was going to "tank" a match at the Toowoomba Futures Six tournament on September 11, 2013.

"Mr Lindahl advised two other people … that he was going to tank the tennis match, or lose the tennis match, and, in providing that information to those people, they were able to place bets to advantage themselves," Sergeant Young told Burwood Local Court on Monday.


Sergeant Young told the court that Sportingbet became suspicious and suspended betting when a flurry of bets were placed on what was a relatively minor tennis match between Lindahl and unranked junior player Andrew Corbitt.

Mr Fox stood to make up to $3800 if his bets were successful. 

It was also alleged that Lindahl, through a third party, approached Corbitt and offered to "tank the match" for a payment.

The offer would allow Corbitt to get his first ATP points "allowing him to play bigger and better tennis matches", the court heard.

But Corbitt declined and instead informed match officials of the proposition.

Following this, an investigation was launched by the Tennis Integrity Unit,  Victoria Police and NSW Police.

Nine months after the match, police allegedly intercepted a telephone call between Lindahl and Mr Fox.

During this conversation, Lindahl was heard encouraging Mr Fox to get rid of computer data and a mobile phone app, police allege.

"Just get rid of everything … hide it," he said.

He also spoke about how he had previously told police he had thrown matches "because that's what tennis players do when they can't play their best".

Mr Fox and Mr Wolfenden have already had their matters heard before court.

Lindahl has pleaded guilty to using corrupt conduct /information to bet on an event but pleaded not guilty to concealing conduct that corrupts a betting outcome of events.

The magistrate, Michelle Goodwin, will hand down her sentence and decision on April 15.

Born in Sweden, Lindahl grew up in Eleebana, a suburb of Lake Macquarie in NSW, and was one of Australia's most promising juniors.

As a 17-year-old, he was invited to attend Australia's Davis Cup squad for a training camp in Switzerland.

In 2009, he beat teenage sensation Bernard Tomic in the Australian Open play-offs to qualify for his second grand slam event.

A year later, after reaching a world ranking of 187, he switched allegiances to Sweden when he was banned from playing in the Australian Open wildcard play-offs for "unacceptable behaviour".

Tennis Australia official Todd Woodbridge said at the time: "All players are expected to abide by Tennis Australia's code of ethics and behaviour. 

"The opportunity to participate in the Australian Open play-off is a privilege, not a right."

​with Newcastle Herald