London: The Tennis Integrity Unit has raised concerns over 24 "suspicious matches" at exhibitions organised while the men's and women's tours are shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The TIU, which investigates match-fixing cases in the sport, said on Friday it received reports of the matches at private tournaments staged between April and June.
The reports are filed by gambling companies who track unusual betting patterns around matches. Suspicious betting patterns don't necessarily mean a match was fixed. A similar effect can also happen if insider information about a player's injury leaks.
"Suspicious betting on tennis during the lockdown is seen as a firm indicator that corruptors remain active, and are likely to increase their focus on the sport when professional tennis resumes in August," the TIU said in a statement.
Private tennis exhibitions have proliferated after the ATP and WTA tours closed down in March. Some have little or no oversight. Besides a smattering of events with big-name players, there are many smaller events around the world with low-ranked players.