The amateur tennis player from Ukraine Artem Bahmet failed to win a point against Kristin Koaykul during qualifying rounds of the futures tournament in Doha, Qatar. Koaykul from Thailand recorded a “golden match” victory as he did not drop a point and won all the 48 points en route to a 6–0, 6–0 victory against Bahmet.
At present Artem Bahmet is labeled as the ‘worst’ tennis professional in the world. Koaykul’s feat doesn’t have a video recording but the glimpses of the final game were captured. The lack of effort from Bahmet’s end made the tennis world skeptical. Also match-fixing is a major dilemma in the low-tier professional tennis tournaments.
😲😲😲The last few points from the worst televised performance of all time as Artem Bahmet of Ukraine loses in an ITF qualifier in Doha. Presumably action will be taken?https://t.co/3jevMsbI3q
— BetConnect (@betconnect) December 9, 2019
Bahmet’s match was discussed on a tennis gambling website. “An online forum in Russian, which is dedicated to tennis betting, featured posts from gamblers claiming to be Bahmet’s accomplices, along with screenshots of bets that seemed to have placed on the match with Bet365,” as stated by Telegraph.
“If genuine, these bets raised €2,203.54 from an investment of around half that amount. One of the posters wrote ‘Bets on this match paid for a trip of two people to Doha and a week in an excellent hotel, and also earned good money from above.’”
The low-tier tournaments fail to fill their qualifying draw hence the doors are open to the players who pay the tournament’s entry fee and has an ITF membership, or ‘IPIN.’ In tennis generating revenue at the low-tier events is a challenge and the tournaments do not deny entry to players when there are open spots in the draw. They make extra money out of it by allowing players to play.
Before Koaykul’s victory ‘golden match’, the same scenario took place in the opening qualifying round of a then-Futures event in the Czech Republic. In that match France’s Dan Added who is now ranked 245th in the world defeated his compatriot Freddy Prioton in 30 minutes.
The ‘golden match’ scenario has never taken place at the ATP or WTA levels. If it happens in the near future it will be a humiliation for the losing professional. However the Kazakh Yaroslava Shvedova has won a ‘golden set’ on the WTA circuit. She won the opening 24 points against Sara Errani at Wimbledon 2012 third round. A few weeks before that humiliating loss Errani reached the finals of French Open 2012.
In 1982, American Bill Scanlon held a golden set victory over the Brazilian Marcos Hocevar on the ATP Tour in Delray Beach, Florida.