Saudi Arabia is omnipresent in football and is now eyeing the world of the little yellow ball.

Attacking football, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia could also invest in tennis. So far, the Saudis are focused on the FIFA World Cup they hope to host on their soil in 2030. To make their candidacy credible and coherent, they attract certain football celebrities to become ambassadors for their championship . This is the case of Cristiano Ronaldo who joined the Al-Nassr club or Karim Benzema more recently, who signed a contract with the Al-Ittihad Club.

Simultaneously or in the near future, Saudi Arabia may set its sights on another sport: tennis. In the Middle East, only the tournaments in Dubai and Doha are really recognized today. Like its neighbours, Saudi Arabia has a strong argument for attracting stars. It’s about the money. The financial aspect has always been an important factor. The lure of profit often takes precedence over the moral and sporting question.

The Diriyah Tennis Cup, which brought together several big names on the circuit last November, caused controversy as summarized by L’Equipe at the time. “Anyone who plays Diriyah will surely realize that this tennis tournament is another example of Saudi Arabia trying to clean up its bloody human rights record through sport,” Amnesty International said. players to denounce the kingdom. The ace. The Saudis are said to be in advanced talks with the ATP to elevate their ambitions to the top tier. The Next Gen Masters, a tournament bringing together the hopes of world tennis each year, could even, as a test pledge, be exported there in 2024.

These ambitions of Saudi Arabia are not to everyone’s taste when others already have a clear vision of the future. Not long ago, the world number 1 Carlos Alcaraz disputed the Queen’s, in London. The Spaniard took the liberty of giving his opinion on the matter. “I think they have the power to have a lot of tournaments. I have never played an official competition there. But hey, I have no doubt that I will play there in the future” , he told the press.

Djokovic did not say anything else when he was also questioned on the subject: the arrival of the cream of world tennis in Saudi Arabia is according to him “a matter of time”. As for the world number one, Iga Swiatek will play “where the WTA decides to play”, even if it is in Saudi Arabia. Even more recently, American Jessica Pegula, world number 4, said on the sidelines of the Wimbledon tournament that doing business with Saudi Arabia could help the WTA in its quest for equal prize money. rewarding players during tournaments.