ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi confirmed plans to explore different venues across Saudi Arabia as the tennis governing body desires to expand its reach in the oil-rich country.
Saudi has spent over £5b in sports since 2021 and has hosted some of the biggest events like F1, boxing, and most notably, the Saudi Pro League which attracted big names like Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and others.
Their first major achievement in international tennis was hosting the ATP’s flagship tournament for the 21-and-under club which Serbia’s Hamad Medjedovic won.
Gaudenzi revealed that he has heard some positive feedback from the players who participated in the tournament as well as from his team.
"I think I've heard very, very good feedback, both from the players and from my team, in terms of execution, the infrastructure here is impressive. The amount of work, investment and passion into the details has been amazing. I also looked at it on TV and it looked very nice. So yeah, I’m very, very, very pleased,” he said.
Although he didn’t disclose any details on their plans but confirmed that talks have taken place between the ATP officials and the Saudis as they see a potential market in the Gulf Country.
"We are exploring a number of different opportunities with Saudi Arabia. And we are here obviously, so we want to work with Saudi. I think we had very good relations the last couple of years, very interesting discussions,” he added.
Gaudenzi also confirmed Saudi’s willingness to spend more and more in the sport but there has been a problem with the tennis calendar, which is already jam-packed.
"They have expressed the willingness and the desire to do more in sport and in tennis. I think the biggest challenge on our side is the calendar. In all honesty, it's very tight, it's very jammed."
"But the desire for us to actually be here and be in the region, because we value the Middle East a lot, is there. I think we're going to have to work it out together in phases or we're looking at all opportunities. We don't have the solutions at the moment, but we're definitely going to keep discussing with all the parties."