December 22, 2023 3 min read


Tennis Governing Elite Vows to Foil Online Abuse of Players

Tennis, a sport that has been heavily affected by gambling-related crime and hatred, is rallying to tackle online abusers – for a start

The world’s tennis governing bodies, including the USTA, WTA, ITF, and AELTC, have confirmed that they are going to collaborate with Threat Matrix to start monitoring public-facing social media abuse directed at tennis players.

Tennis Pros to Get Help Against Online Abuse

This is part of a broader effort to protect players, ensure the well-being of athletes and staff, and start to address the growing issue of irate and often anonymous abusers online who direct hatred at athletes most likely because of losing a wager.

Threat Matrix will equip all governing bodies with the means to set benchmarks and track online abuse, hoping to reduce the incidence of such abuse from one year to the next. The service will launch on January 1, 2024, and this is not the first time that Signify Group, which owns the solution, has partnered with major sports organizations to tackle the issue of online abuse.

Threat Matrix will also enable tennis bodies to liaise with relevant companies from the sector, including X, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and seek assistance in restricting offensive users. Threat Matrix will conduct monitoring in 35 languages and specifically focus on events such as the ITF World Tennis Tour, Wimbledon, US Open, WTA Tour, and others.

This move is coming at the right time, as a study already conducted by Threat Matrix suggested that one in four players, out of a sample of 454 participants in professional events, was subjected to abuse. The end goal is to ensure that such abusers will be dealt with, using all disposable measures.  

Tennis has been systematically subjected to match-fixing, which is carried out by organized criminal groups and is a serious threat that goes beyond the world of sports, as flagged in a recent report by the United Nations.

Sports Hecklers Plague Sport

Threat Matrix and Signify Group recently partnered with the NCAA, which is facing similar issues as college sports betting in the United States is becoming increasingly popular and unauthorized gambling from student-athletes and even coaches has come to light.

It’s not just tennis players, though, or college students. Sports hecklers are known to attend events and shout at players, hoping to disrupt their performance. Some have attributed this to people who have money running on someone else in a wager.

Unseemly fan behavior is not uncommon even in-person, as Novak Djokovic, one of the best tennis players, recently told British fans to can it after they were deliberately distracting him during a live game. It was not a good look on Djokovic, but it raises the question of how far can fans go – online or in-person.


Stoyan holds over 8 years of esports and gambling writing experience under his belt and is specifically knowledgeable about developments within the online scene. He is a great asset to the team with his niche expertise and continual focus on providing our readers with articles that have a unique spin which differentiates us from the rest.

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