Djokovic shows class as Serb responds to star branded a ‘snitch’ in tennis row

Novak Djokovic has issued a response to Marco Trungelliti after the 33-year-old piled praise on the Serb for his efforts in trying to fix issues in tennis, including match-fixing. The Argentine previously revealed that he was branded a “snitch” for reporting a match-fixing group to authorities in the sport, indirectly resulting in three of his countrymen receiving suspensions. And Djokovic has shown his class as he offered to help Trungelliti with anything he needs.

Trungelliti made waves in 2019 when he revealed that he reported a match-fixing group to the Tennis Integrity Unit. The TIU later asked him to testify in the cases of three of his compatriots who were already being investigated – Federico Coria, Nicolas Kicker and Patricio Heras. The world No 236 shared his story in an interview with La Nacion, and last week he told the publication that some tennis players had labelled him a “snitch”.

Trungelliti also praised Djokovic and the Professional Tennis Players Association – a group co-founded by the Serb – after meeting him at the recent US Open. The 24-time Grand Slam champion has now shared a meaningful response to the Argentine, thanking him for his bravery and offering him support.

“I saw what he said and I immediately told Charlie [hitting partner Carlos Gomes]  to contact him and thank him for his kind words, since the two of them are in direct contact,” the world No 1 told Sportal. “Also, since I didn’t know about his situation and what he was going through in the previous three or four years, I can say that I am very sorry for all of that.”

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Hailing the 33-year-old for exposing match-fixing in the sport, Djokovic continued: “He did not deserve such treatment at all because he showed courage and audacity to protect the integrity of the sport by coming forward with the fact that someone had approached him and offered to cheat on matches for betting purposes. I greatly appreciate when someone has such an attitude because they are, in general, a minority.”

Trungelliti relocated to Andorra following the backlash in his home country. But he recently played his first tournament at home in Argentina since he went public with his whistleblowing story in February 2019, reaching the round of 32 at the Buenos Aires Challenger. 

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Addressing his return to Argentina, Djokovic said he would always be on hand to help Trungelliti. “I’m glad he was able to get back to his country, and I told Charlie to ask him if he needed any help of any kind and to tell him I’m always there,” he added.

“As I am for all of them, especially the boys and girls, who go through a very thorny path in order to succeed in continuing to engage in professional sports and to make a living from it to some extent.”

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