Nick Kyrgios tennis
Sports

Saudi Arabia’s sports strategy attracts tennis star Nick Kyrgios

(Last Updated On: October 11, 2023)

The growing interest of Saudi Arabia‘s Public Investment Fund in tennis has caught the attention of Australian player Nick Kyrgios, who expressed his support for the potential financial benefits that come with Saudi investment.

Kyrgios, known for his outspoken nature, welcomed the development on Twitter, indicating that tennis should follow golf’s path and ensure players receive the compensation they deserve. With career earnings exceeding US$12 million, Kyrgios sees the value in Saudi Arabia’s interest.

Saudi takeover

Tennis now joins the list of sports linked to a potential Saudi takeover. Kyrgios himself had a brief hiatus from the tour after sustaining a knee injury during an exhibition match in Saudi Arabia. His recent loss in Stuttgart has put his Wimbledon participation in doubt.

Positive discussions

ATP chair Andrea Gaudenzi confirmed positive discussions with potential investors, including the Public Investment Fund. Additionally, world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz expressed confidence that he would eventually compete in tournaments in Saudi Arabia. The Next Gen tournament, featuring the top young players, is set to relocate to Saudi Arabia under a new five-year deal.

While Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley believes that tennis won’t face a divisive breakaway group like LIV Golf, he acknowledges the ongoing changes in the sports world. Tiley emphasized that the investment in tennis aligns with the current structure of the game, rather than proposing an alternative option. He also highlighted the need for the seven governing bodies in tennis to collaborate more closely in the best interest of the sport.

Optimistic reaction

Tiley expressed optimism about Kyrgios’s participation in Wimbledon, stating that the final decision lies with the player. As long as Kyrgios remains healthy and overcomes the early challenges in the tournament, Tiley believes he has the potential to make another deep run.

Saudi Arabia’s growing involvement in tennis raises questions about the complexity of sport-wide changes due to the separate operations of the sport’s major tournaments. However, the ongoing conversations and collaboration between governing bodies indicate that tennis is in a healthy place, with the four Grand Slam events playing a significant role in decision-making.

As Saudi Arabia continues its efforts to attract foreign talents and invest in sports (including esports), the landscape of tennis could witness notable transformations.

Gulf News Portal editorial team focuses on breaking news that help shape the region.