ATP Tour signs five-year deal with Saudi Arabia’s PIF

The Gulf Country has been spending greatly to promote sports

By Web Desk
February 28, 2024
Novak Djokovic (R) with Carlos Alcaraz. — ATP

The ATP Tour on Wednesday announced a five-year strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), marking a significant collaboration in men's tennis.

Under the agreement, PIF will serve as the official naming partner for the men's rankings and will also partner with ATP tournaments held in Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Beijing, the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin, and the Next Gen ATP Finals hosted in Jeddah.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has made substantial investments in various sports, spanning football, Formula 1, boxing, and golf.

"Our strategic partnership with PIF marks a major moment for tennis," ATP chief executive Massimo Calvelli said in a statement.

"It's a shared commitment to propel the future of the sport. With PIF's dedication to the next generation - fostering innovation and creating opportunities for all - the stage is set for a transformative new period of progress."

In a move reflecting this trend, the ATP Next Gen Finals for men's U21 players will be held in Jeddah until 2027, with the prize money reaching a record $2m.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia is set to host a prestigious tennis exhibition tournament featuring renowned players like Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, and three other Grand Slam champions in October. Last month, Nadal was appointed as an ambassador for the Saudi Tennis Federation.

Discussions have been underway for the WTA women's tennis tour to collaborate with Saudi Arabia.

"As part of our plans to grow the value of women's tennis, we regularly speak to both existing and potential commercial partners about possible new forms of collaboration," a WTA spokesperson said on Wednesday. "While we don't rule anything out for the future, there is no new update at this time."

There have been reservations expressed by figures like Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. Concerns have been raised regarding women's and LGBTQ+ rights in the country, alongside accusations of sportswashing.