Will tennis as we know it cease to exist?
Iga Świątek won the season-ending WTA Finals in stunning style and quickly vaulted back into the leader’s seat. A few days ago, when women’s tennis players were competing in Cancun and men’s tennis in Paris, the ATP (Editor’s Note) was entering an advanced stage of negotiations with Saudi Arabia.
The ATP authorities want to hold a new prestigious Masters 1000 tournament in Riyadh. As the British newspaper “The Times” wrote, the Saudis, who have worked to improve their image for several months by investing in sports, will be able to spend hundreds of millions of pounds on this tournament.
It will be a mutual action. The Saudis will once again buy into the system loved by millions of people around the world and warm to the faces of the biggest tennis stars, so the violation of women’s rights, the lack of freedom of expression, or the execution of political prisoners will at least be silenced. For a moment, at least outside Saudi Arabia.
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The ATP will make a lot of money from this and the opportunity to organize another Masters tournament, which ATP President Andrea Godinzi is keen on.
The problem is that such a tournament could blow up the start of the entire Australian season. The change will leave just one week between the Saudi Masters and the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam tournament of the season. The time difference between Riyadh and Melbourne is eight hours, so it can be safely assumed that tennis players will skip the “previous” Australian tournaments before the Australian Open, such as Brisbane or Sydney.
Furthermore, it would likely mean the end of the United Cup, the team tournament that kicks off the tennis season at the turn of December and January. In the next edition, the following people will play in the Polish national team: Iga Swiatek, Hubert Hurkacz, Daniil Michalski, Jan Zielinski, Katarzyna Kawa and Katarzyna Petr. The tournament is a great opportunity not only to enter the season with little pressure, but also to spend time with teammates from the national team, which is very rare in many events during the year, and in addition, it is a great opportunity for Iga Świątek and Hubert Hurkacz.
Saudi Arabia is widely involved in tennis
In August, it was confirmed that the ATP Next Gen Finals, the season-ending tournament for under-21 players, would be held in Jeddah in December as part of a new five-year deal.
And that’s not all, because the Saudis want to organize the final tournament for women’s tennis professionals, of which this year’s edition concluded on Monday in Cancun.
We know that such an idea has met with mixed opinions among top tennis players. One thing is certain, which is that if all these changes actually happen, the Saudi championships will dominate the beginning and end of the season.
source:Onet Sports Review
Date of creation: Today 09:38
Journalist for the newspaper Przeglad Sportuy One
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