Tennis in Saudi Arabia: Andy Roddick Highlights ‘Hypocrisy’ Factor Before Sympathizing With Players

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Saudi Arabia has taken center stage in the sporting world, at least over the past few months. Be it soccer or golf, numerous sports have been influenced by the massive funds flowing from the oil-rich country. While top soccer players like Cristiano Ronaldo have moved to Saudi Arabia, golf has its own Saudi version of a league, the LIV Golf. As a result, Andy Roddick has sympathized with the athletes playing in the Middle East.
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Not only soccer and golf but also tennis has seen growing involvement in Saudi Arabia in the past few months. Recently, the country announced a new event, the 6 Kings Slam, that’ll feature stars like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Here’s what Roddick had to say.
Andy Roddick voices his fears regarding tennis in Saudi Arabia
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While the new event has been introduced by Saudi Arabia, there have been talks also about the Tour Finals. In particular, the WTA Finals have been rumored to be held in the country later this year, although the news has received mixed reactions.
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Talking about if he would’ve participated in such events held in Saudi Arabia, Roddick said, “Personally, I would have to play the majors, I would have to play US Open I, you know, I did say No when we talked about if I want to talk about it on air. And I did say no, that there was an exhibition opportunity that was brought to me for this April.”
Further, he went on to add, “And I said no out of hand because I didn’t want the follow up of how much are they going to pay you. I just kind of didn’t want to know. So I said no, out of hand one because I fear being a hypocrite as much as most things in life.”
On the contrary, World Number 1, Novak Djokovic has had contrasting views about Saudi’s sporting investment. The Serb welcomed this change with open arms.
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What did Djokovic say about Saudi involvement in sports?
As a warm-up to the ongoing season, Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz played an exhibition match in Saudi Arabia. Both these players are also set to feature at the 6 Kings Slam later this year.
Opening up about the country’s involvement in sports, Djokovic said, “I’m thrilled to see Saudi Arabia opening its doors to the world’s best athletes, entertainers, and business leaders. Looking forward to returning before 2030 (Expo) for a more in-depth exploration.”
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Nonetheless, it is a turbulent time for the ATP and the WTA Tours. Do you think tennis should go the golf way and introduce a separate Tour? Let us know your views in the comments below.
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