Saudi Arabia will welcome a new $3million tennis tournament, the Diriyah Tennis Cup, to the Kingdom in December, with three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka set to be the star attraction.
Taking place from December 12-14, it is the latest addition to an increasingly packed month in Saudi Arabia and for Diriyah in particular, which will also play host to the Formula E and a world heavyweight boxing contest between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua.
The Diriyah Tennis Cup will see eight of the world’s leading men’s tennis players compete including Wawrinka, who has won the Australian Open, US Open and French Open, and is the reigning Olympic champion too.
The Swiss star will be joined by 2019 US Open finalist Daniil Medvedev, Fabio Fognini, David Goffin, John Isner and Lucas Pouille – with the two remaining players to be announced soon.
It is the first international tennis tournament to take place in the Kingdom and comes a year after a planned contest between Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the Kingdom was called off.
Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Faisal, chairman of the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia (GSA), said: “Hosting world class international tennis in Saudi Arabia for the very first time is another watershed moment for the Kingdom.
“There’s a deep passion for sport in Saudi Arabia and the Diriyah Tennis Cup will see us reaching new tennis fans, welcome even more international visitors as well as creating amazing memories for all.
“Our vision is to achieve greater participation in sport – hosting the world’s best tennis players here can only help to achieve our goals. Sport provides incredible opportunities to engage and inspire people; tennis provides another platform for us to do that in the Kingdom.”
Peter-Michael Reichel, co-chairman of Basel Sports Group, the Diriyah Tennis Cup organisers, added: “It is getting very exciting now, we have revealed six of our stars, all who rank among the best men’s players on the planet.
“For passionate tennis fans, and for anyone who enjoys the drama of live sport, this will be a must-see. Especially as this history-making tournament will be played in this iconic and unique location.”