r1191112 1296x518 5 2 - Replay Madness

Nick Kyrgios has welcomed potential investment from Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) into tennis.

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi told the Financial Times last week that he had held “positive” discussions with PIF and other potential investors.

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Talk of a potential partnership comes after the PIF-backed LIV Golf circuit engaged in a bitter two-year dispute with the PGA Tour before announcing an agreement to merge and form one unified commercial entity.

Australian Open chief Craig Tiley believes any Saudi investment in tennis is unlikely to have the same impact as the country’s disruptive entry into golf because talks are focused on bolstering the current structures of the game.

“What’s different to what we’re seeing [in other sports] is this is an investment in the current structure of the game and not an investment in an alternative option,” Tiley told reporters on Tuesday.

“But like everything in the world, there’s lots of changes always going on. So you’ve got to watch what’s going on and stay close to it. But, ultimately, that’s a decision for the men’s and the women’s tour.”

But the news of potential investment has been welcomed by Australian superstar Kyrgios. “Finally. They see the value,” he tweeted above a report of the talks between the Saudis and ATP. “We are going to get paid what we deserve to get paid. Sign me up.”

Saudi Arabia has invested huge amounts of money into sport in recent years and media reports say it is bidding to host this year’s ATP Next Gen Finals, which feature the tour’s top under-21 players.

Critics have accused Saudi Arabia of using the PIF to engage in “sportswashing” in the face of heavy criticism of the country’s human rights record. Some of the world’s top players have already featured in the Diriyah Cup exhibition event on the outskirts of Riyadh and world number one Carlos Alcaraz said earlier this week he had “no doubts” he would compete in Saudi Arabia at some point.

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.

Source link

Kyrgios on potential Saudi tennis investment: ‘Sign me up’