NEW YORK, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Tennis officials are on alert for signs of illegal gambling as the venerable Davis Cup begins this week in Portland, Ore.
At least a dozen ranked players have reported being asked to throw matches or said they have heard of similar requests made to other players, The New York Times reported Sunday.
"There is a clear risk to the sport because players are being approached. We take this incredibly seriously," said Kris Dent, a spokesman for the Association of Tennis Professionals.
The scandal assumed new urgency when Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, the world's fourth ranked player, refused to surrender phone records in the wake of an investigation into betting patterns when he lost a game in Poland last summer, The Times said. Davydenko has denied any wrongdoing.
"Tennis is a very easy game to manipulate," said Patrick McEnroe, who heads the U.S. Davis Cup team, which will face Davydenko and his Russian team in Portland.
"I can throw a match and you'd never know," he told The Times. "A trained eye can figure it out."