The Tennis Integrity Unit announced another match-fixing ban Thursday. This time, it’s an American.
Nikita Kryvonos, 30, was issued a 10-year ban and a $20,000 US fine after being found in breach of the Tennis Anti-Corruption program.
His career high of No. 389 in singles came 10 years ago when he was just a couple of years out of juniors. But Kryvonos hasn’t played since Nov. 2015. He was put on provisional suspension then, at the very beginning of the investigation, for failing to cooperate with the TIU.
He had been a regular on the Challenger and Futures circuits in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
Colluding to fix matches
The investigation found Kryvonos colluded with third parties to fix a match at the Champaign Challenger in Illinois that month. The TIU said that there was “suspicious betting activity in several countries” around the match.
Those suspicious betting patterns, when flagged, set off alarm bells and can lead to an investigation. This particular one was brought to its conclusion.
Kryvonos wouldn’t supply his mobile phone records or other documentation, hence the immediate provisional suspension. Still, it took 18 months for the process to be completed. The hearing was finally held April 27. The sanctions are effective today, with the 10-year ban backdated to the initial provisional suspension, Nov. 30, 2015.
He is “not allowed to compete in or attend any tournament or event organised or sanctioned by the governing bodies of the sport” during the suspension period.
Kryvonos was a promising junior back in his day. Ranked in the top-30 in the ITF rankings, he was a semi-finalist at the 2004 Orange Bowl at age 18. In the first round there, he defeated a very young Kei Nishikori.
Kryvonos took 17-year-old Andy Murray to three sets in the first round of junior Wimbledon that year. He lost in the second round of the junior French Open to Gaël Monfils. And he had wins over the likes of Tim Smyczek, Fabio Fognini and Viktor Troicki during his junior career.
But as with so many others, success on the pro circuit didn’t follow. And then, other things followed.