SPORTS betting has often been described as a ‘necessary evil’ that allows different sports to levy a percentage of those bets to grow their commercial activities.

Like alcohol sponsorship before it, betting though, is now seen as a dangerous activity that could undermine the integrity of a sport or an event.

And it’s fraught with other dangers, as American Taylor Fritz revealed recently.

Athletes and anyone working with the sport are banned from placing bets or from promoting betting on matches and events.

Doubles stars Mardy Fish and Bob Bryan broke this rule and were fined – but it still continues.

Fritz spoke of Davis Cup advertising of a sports betting company, adding: “everybody in tennis is making a profit off of betting, except for the players.”

The American acknowledged that it would not be right for players to bet – “I get that,” he said, but then talked of the harassment players often receive.

“We get all the harassment from betting. We get 50 to 100 death threats after every match you lose,” Fritz said.

“Awful messages, all the hate and all of the negative side of gambling, but we don’t get any of the positives.

“By no mean tennis players should tell people to bet on tennis, but I don’t think it should be a problem when is something outside of tennis. What happened to Bob and Marty is unfortunate. Times are changing and the rules probably needs to change again.”

Many will argue that an outright ban on betting companies sponsoring sports will only drive it underground, but allowing it to continue is surely a bigger danger to society.

Craig Tiley and Rafael Nadal pose with Australian Open men’s singles final trophy Photo: Fiona Hamilton/TENNIS AUSTRALIA

TENNIS Australia boss Craig Tiley is playing a dangerous political game after declaring on Friday the Melbourne Slam could move to either Sydney or China.

Tiley’s comments were without doubt a deliberate attempt to extract millions from the City of Melbourne and the state of Victoria to fund his expansion plans.

The tough-talking South African is using recent investment in facilities in Paris, Wimbledon and New York as an example of what he believes Melbourne needs to do to maintain their Slam status.

TA used up its $80m reserves during the Covid pandemic as the city and the State enforced the world’s toughest and most brutal lockdown – costing businesses millions.

Crowd restrictions and the cost of player quarantine would have hurt the bottom line, but where does he think this expansion money is going to come from?

Sydney has been hinted as one option – the State if NSW has always fought its southern rival for sporting events – so their inclusion in the story is no great surprise.

And China?

The WTA is still asking serious questions over the disappearance of Peng Shuai.

Tiley is a well-versed and seasoned ‘politico’ but his latest words may yet come back to bite him.

Novak Djokovic arrives in Adelaide tom prepare for the Australian Open.

PERHAPS Novak Djokovic could help out …. still defiantly unvaxxed, Djokovic flew into Australia last week to prepare for the Australian Open.

The Serb, who was deported from the country in January before the 2022 event, is in Adelaide where he will start his 2023 season next week.

Reaction to his re-appearance in Melbourne will undoubtably be mixed, given millions of citizens endured the world’s toughest lockdown and vaccination rules.

Djokovic is still banned from the US due to their vaccination requirements.

AND despite the plea of poverty from Tennis Australia, pay rises are in store for players at the 2023 Australian Open with a 3.4 per cent boost in the total purse to a record $76.5 million (US$51.6 million).

The winners of the men’s and women’s titles will both take home $2.975m with players beaten in earlier rounds also getting more.

First round losers will receive $106,250 and second-round losers will get $158,850.

Australian Open prize money has increased by more than 321 per cent in the last 20 years, from $18.18m to $58.32m today.

AUSTRALIA believes Nick Kyrgios can win the first slam of 2023, well some do.

“Contrary to what many people think, there are few players who understand the game like Nick Kyrgios,” Patrick Mouratoglou wrote on Instagram recently.

Sam Stosur told local media she thought he was primed for success.

Kyrgios clearly thinks he can as well.

His withdrawal from the United Cup showed he was concentrating on one event only.

  • The New York Post pulled no punches when it reported the latest Kyrgios spat with coach Lleyton Hewitt over his late withdrawal from the United Cup.

‘Tennis brat uses Netflix defense over now-show controversy’ was their headline.

FRENCH star Caroline Garcia stopped off on her way to Australia in Bali, taking a 12-day solo trip, where she said it was wonderful because “no one knew who I was.”

Caroline Garcia on a solo visit ot Bali.

RAFA Nadal’s wife Maria and his newborn son were present at his practice session in Sydney ahead of the United Cup.

Nadal and Maria welcomed their son on October 8. The Spaniard said earlier this month that his son was doing well and sleeping well.

“At the moment he is doing well, sleeping. If he is right-handed or left-handed, I still don’t know,” Nadal said.

“The first event I play like a father without the baby with me, I lost first round. Second event, traveling with the baby, I was out of the group stage. At the end I won my last match, but I need to keep improving, no?” Nadal said.

“We have some help. No problem at all. Just I need to organise little bit my life, as everybody needs to do when you have a child in your life.”

AND finally

THE dictionary definition of a narcissist: a personality disorder in which people have an unreasonably high sense of their own importance. They need and seek too much attention and want people to admire them.