ATP and Saudi Arabia’s PIF: Multi-year strategic partnership

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) revealed a "multi-year strategic partnership" with the governing body for men's tennis, ATP, further solidifying the kingdom's impact on the global sports scene. Did not reveal details about the amount of the investment.

ATP and PIF announced a "multi-year strategic partnership." In a joint announcement, the two organisations expressed that the partnership signifies "a substantial mutual dedication to improving global tennis."

"Our strategic partnership with PIF marks a major moment for tennis," said ATP chief executive Massimo Calvelli in the joint 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 the previous year, Saudi Arabia hosted its inaugural ATP Tour event, namely the Next Gen ATP Finals in Jeddah, which also featured exhibition matches as Novak Djokovic against Carlos Alcaraz and Aryna Sabalenka against Ons Jabeur.

Starting in 2021, PIF has undertaken substantial investments in various key sports sectors. These endeavours encompass the naming as an ambassador for the Saudi Tennis Federation to Rafael Nadal, the creation of the LIV golf tour, positioned as an opponent to the PGA, and the acquisition of the English Premier League club Newcastle United. PIF possesses four football clubs in the Saudi Pro League and has invested more than $885 million (820 million euros) in recruiting top football talents for its teams. The kingdom also is scheduled to host the 2034 FIFA World Cup. The latest investment with the ATP follows a Saudi bid to secure the WTA Finals in Riyadh. "Through our collaboration with ATP, PIF will be a catalyst for the growth of the global tennis landscape, developing talent, fostering inclusivity and driving sustainable innovation," said PIF's Mohamed AlSayyad.

Djokovic and Alcaraz in exhibition match in Riyadh. GETTY IMAGES
Djokovic and Alcaraz in exhibition match in Riyadh. GETTY IMAGES

Several Tennis players are giving their opinions about this agreement. "One of my concerns is obviously actually more about the investment in lower levels of the game and the grassroots of the sport. I think that's extremely important." Murray said and emphasised the commitment from the new partners to "collaborate to elevate the long-term future of tennis." Daniil Medvedev, world number four, stated: "I think if we can make tennis bigger as a sport, more interesting for people, have more coverage, just in general more people will know tennis and who tennis players are. I think it's going to be good."

In October, kicks off the inaugural "6 Kings Slam," a new tournament scheduled to take place in the Saudi capital Riyadh featuring the participation of top players such as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Carlos Alcaraz, and Jannik Sinner.