Kei Nishikori laments 'sad' news of Nicolas Kicker match-fixing charges

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Kei Nishikori admits he finds the news of the match-fixing charges against Argentina’s Nicolas Kicker “sad” but that he also understands how financially tough it is for some players on tour.

Nishikori was scheduled to practice with Kicker on Thursday at Roland Garros before the Argentine was disqualified when the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) announced the charges.

Kicker, ranked 84 in the world, was “found guilty of match-fixing and other offences under the Tennis Anti-Corruption Program”, according to a statement from the TIU.

“Mr Kicker, 25, was found guilty of contriving the outcome of a match at the ATP Challenger tournament in Padova, Italy, in June 2015 and a match at the ATP Challenger tournament in Baranquilla, Colombia, in September 2015,” said the TIU.

“He was also found guilty of failing to report a corrupt approach and of not co-operating with a TIU investigation into the allegations made against him.”

Nishikori, who defeated Frenchman Maxime Janvier 7-6 (0), 6-4, 6-3 in the Roland Garros opening round on Sunday, was asked about his reaction when he heard about Kicker’s corruption charges.

“Well, yeah, honestly, very sad. Because I think he’s good player. He can be top-50 player. Yeah, a little bit sad to see that,” said the Japanese ex-world No. 4.

“Well, I don’t want to say I understand him, I don’t want to understand, but, you know, I think some of the players have tough life from the beginning. I think some people have no money, and you’ve got to be strong to say no to everything.

“But a little bit sad to lose him, I think, if it’s true. Well, yeah, we gotta see after what’s the truth.”

Sanctions on Kicker are yet to be determined but he won’t be granted credentials at any tournament until his fate is decided by authorities.

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