The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) is currently engaged in advanced negotiations with the Saudi Tennis Federation concerning the launch of a prestigious Masters 1000 tournament, potentially starting in 2025.
The proposed event is slated to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and is tentatively scheduled for January, concluding a week prior to the commencement of the Australian Open.
The dialogue is expected to progress at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, with indications suggesting that an agreement could be reached imminently. The Times has noted that the Saudi investment in tennis could ascend to several hundred million pounds.
Saudi Arabia, through its Public Investment Fund (PIF), has made significant investments in various sports, including football, boxing, cricket, Formula 1, and most notably, golf with the LIV Tour.
It appears tennis is the latest sport to catch the eye of Saudi investors. The NextGen ATP Finals, an event that kicks off this autumn and is contracted until at least 2027, is already set to be hosted by Saudi Arabia.
“The choice of Jeddah by ATP to host a marquee tennis event is a source of immense pride,” stated Arij Mutabagani, President of the Saudi Tennis Federation, earlier in the year.
“The Next Gen ATP Finals reflect our Federation’s aim to motivate young athletes to attain the zenith of their potential. We are looking forward to fostering ATP’s up-and-coming talent and introducing sporting innovations in our beloved city of Jeddah.”
ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi expressed, “The global reach of the ATP Tour is expanding, and venturing into new territories is key to the sport’s growth. Introducing the Next Gen ATP Finals to Jeddah will spark excitement among new supporters, especially within the region’s large youth demographic, and will help tennis unite and captivate new audiences.
“We commend Jeddah and the Saudi Tennis Federation for their efforts and are eager to enhance the event’s success collaboratively.”
Unless there are unforeseen disruptions to these plans, this partnership is expected to include an ATP Masters 1000 shortly.
Should this event be officially scheduled, it may pose a competitive threat to existing January tennis events like the United Cup and tournaments in Adelaide, Auckland, and Pune.