Carlos Alcaraz, the current world number one in tennis, expressed his confidence in competing in Saudi Arabia in the future and praised the country’s potential to host numerous tournaments. The ATP Tour has initiated discussions with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) regarding a possible partnership, covering areas such as infrastructure, events, and technology investment, according to ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.
Gaudenzi emphasized that any potential investors must respect the sport’s history and collaborate with existing stakeholders. Carlos Alcaraz, who recently won at The Queen’s Club, acknowledged that he has never participated in an official tournament in Saudi Arabia but has no doubt that he will do so in the future.
Critics have raised concerns about the PIF, alleging that it serves as a means for Saudi Arabia to improve its global reputation amidst accusations of human rights violations. Saudi Arabia, however, denies these allegations and asserts that its laws prioritize national security.
Although Saudi Arabia has not yet hosted an ATP tournament, prominent players like Daniil Medvedev and Stan Wawrinka have taken part in the Diriyah Cup exhibition event, which held its second edition last year. The discussions about a potential partnership with Saudi Arabia follow the resolution of a two-year dispute between the Saudi-backed LIV Golf circuit and the PGA Tour and DP World Tour, resulting in the formation of a unified commercial entity.
Saudi Arabia has made significant investments in various sports, including soccer, Formula One, and boxing. Earlier this year, reports indicated that Jeddah was among the bidders for the ATP’s Next Gen Finals, a tournament featuring the top Under-21 players.