Marco Trungelliti has responded after receiving a personal message from Novak Djokovic. The Argentine tennis star had been branded a “snitch” for helping to expose match-fixing in the sport and had not played a tournament in his home nation for more than four years, returning this week. But Djokovic extended his support to Trungelliti and commended his bravery for speaking out.
Trungelliti stunned the tennis world in February 2019 when he revealed that he had reported a match-fixing group to the Tennis Integrity Unit after they approached him under the guise of being a sponsor. He also testified against three fellow Argentinian players who were already being investigated by the TIU.
But the 33-year-old was labelled a “snitch” by some of his peers and ended up relocating to Adorra with his family. Trungelliti did not play a tournament in his home country until this week, returning for the Buenos Aires Challenger. During his return, he received a personal message from Djokovic who thanked him for helping to expose corruption in tennis.
“Obviously I teared up a little,” Trungelliti told Ambito after the Serb’s hitting partner Carlos Gomes contacted him to relay the message. “Between the emotions I had on the court, that I had just left, and on top of that I got that message, it almost gave me a kick.”
The world No 236 had already been full of praise for Djokovic and his work with the Professional Tennis Players Association. And Trungelliti doubled down on his comments about the 24-time Grand Sham champion.
He added: “I think it’s beautiful, coming from someone who is in the elite, busy with so many things but with his head where it should be. He has his feet on the ground, and he showed it.”
It comes after Djokovic revealed that he reached out to Trungelliti after reading about what the 33-year-old had been through since opening up about his work to expose match-fixing. The world No 1 told Sportal: “He did not deserve such treatment at all because he showed courage and audacity to protect the integrity of the sport by coming forward with the fact that someone had approached him and offered to cheat on matches for betting purposes
“I greatly appreciate when someone has such an attitude because they are, in general, a minority. I’m glad he was able to get back to his country, and I told Charlie [Carlos Gomes] to ask him if he needed any help of any kind and to tell him I’m always there.”