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Andy Roddick talks about his entry into tennis in Saudi Arabia. The former US Open winner expressed his doubts about Saudi Arabia, underlining that there is still discrimination against women in the country, such as homophobia, censorship and political persecution.
«Same-sex dating is illegal in Saudi Arabia. But we have players who have come out openly. Many players like Daria Katkina, to name one, have come out. What should we do if there are tournaments in that country? Tell our players who have to take a week off because of these players coming out. «How do we protect our players from criminal lifestyles when they enter the country?» Roddick explained.
Saudi Arabia is spoiled by tennis.
Saudi Arabia decided to focus on tennis. After the Next Gen ATP Finals, which found a home in Jeddah and featured Aryna Sabalenka, Ons Jaber and Novak Djokovic in an exhibition event last December, the country announced a new major exhibition event in October 2024.
A super exhibition 6 Kings Slam will be held in Riyadh featuring six of the best players in the world: Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev, Janic Siner, Holger Ruhn and Rafael Nadal. Among all these players, only the Danish boys have never won a Slam title.
So the performance is not yet known but it is definitely a new show of strength by the Saudis. Thus, Saudi Arabia has strengthened its commitment to tennis. The news was given in a press release by Turki Alshik, a sports producer who is heavily involved in the production of entertainment in X and Arab countries.
The statement also quoted the players. «I’m happy to be back in Riyadh and competing in front of my Saudi fans,» Djokovic said. «I can’t wait to play in Riyadh for the first time after other players have done it,» added Nadal, who is the Saudi tennis ambassador. Carlos Alcaraz said he was happy to be back in the Saudi city and he spoke about his participation in this tournament.
It will be the first time in Saudi Arabia for Siner and Rooney, Medvedev will return after being part of the 2019 Daria Tennis Cup. Many aspects of this event are not known, such as duration, exact dates, format, but it will certainly bring a lot of discussion, for better or for worse.