RIYADH: Saudi Arabia will stage its first-ever international tennis tournament, a men’s exhibition event in December.
The tournament worth $3 million is being staged in Diriyah on the outskirts of Riyadh, the venue for the world heavyweight title rematch between Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz Jr on 7th December.
Saudi rulers are using sport to try and soften their international image and to provide a showcase, they say, for reforms inside the oil-rich state.
Swiss three-time Grand Slam winner Stanislas Wawrinka and rising star Daniil Medvedev are two big names already signed up to appear in the eight-player December 12-14 hardcourt event.
Chairman of the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal Al Saud said, “Hosting world-class international tennis in Saudi Arabia for the very first time is another watershed moment for the Kingdom.”