There’s Something Shady About This Laughably  Terrible ‘Pro’ Tennis Player

In Wednesday’s Hot Clicks: The world’s worst tennis player, a college basketball player scores 100 points and more.
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Has this guy played tennis before?

artem-bahmet-tennis-match-doha copy

Krittin Koaykul, a pro tennis player from Thailand, completed a rare “golden match” (winning all 48 points in a 6–0, 6–0 victory) at a tournament in Qatar recently, but the accomplishment is much less impressive when you see who he was playing against. 

The man on the losing end, Ukraine’s Artem Bahmet, looked like he was taking his first tennis lesson. The guy just swung wildly at the ball as if it was an act of self-defense. 

Give Bahmet credit for mostly being able to successfully serve the ball, and even returning a couple of Koaykul’s extremely easy strokes. I’m disappointed the video above only shows the final three points of the match. I really wish I could have seen Bahmet attempt to return a serve. 

I know what you’re thinking: how did this guy get into a real professional tennis tournament? According to Tennis.com, low-level tournaments like this one in Doha often have trouble filling out a full draw of players so they start accepting wild-card entries from anyone with an International Tennis Federation membership number and enough money to pay the entry fee. That’s why golden matches are not unheard of in the qualifying rounds of events like this one at tennis’s bottom rung.

My impression of these low-level tennis tournaments—which are all streamed live online, for some reason—is that they exist primarily for shady gambling purposes. (Match fixing is rampant in tennis.) So I wasn’t surprised to read that this match is suspected of being set up by Russian gamblers. 

Chatter on a Russian internet forum dedicated to tennis gambling alleges that bettors in Russia knew the match would be a farce and bet on Bahmet to lose. Other messages allege that Bahmet hadn’t picked up a tennis racket before the day of the match. 

Screenshots of bets posted on the forum show that the gamblers made about $2,400 by wagering against Bahmet, which paid for the trip to Qatar for two people. Bahmet and a second man (refereed to as “Mont”) plan to watch the tournament in-person in Doha to scout players, then play in the qualifying round for another tournament next week and place more bets against themselves, according to the posts. Perhaps the jig is up after video of Bahmet’s match went viral, though.

Take that, Wilt

J.J. Culver, a senior at NAIA Wayland Baptist University in Texas and the older brother of Timberwolves rookie Jarrett Culver, dropped 100 points in a game last night

There were 250 people on hand to witness Culver score triple digits in a 124–60 win over Southwestern Adventist. He was 34-for-62 from the field, including 12-of-33 from three, and 20-of-27 from the line. He also had one assist. 

No one on Culver’s team scored more than eight points in the game and only six of the 13 other players who got in the game for Wayland scored any points at all. 

Culver is only the second player in NAIA history to score at least 100 points in a game and the first American college player to do it since Grinnell’s Jack Taylor scored 109 points in a Division-III game in 2013. 

Congrats, Le’Veon

Jets fans were up in arms when they heard Le’Veon Bell had been spotted out bowling until the wee hours of the morning, despite being ruled out for the following day’s game with the flu. 

It’s all true, Bell told reporters. And he’s not apologizing for going out. Doctors gave him the go-ahead to leave the house, so he went out to the bowling alley—and ended up rolling the best game of his life. 

Bowling is a little less intense than NFL football, though, so it’s probably a good idea he skipped the game. 

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