Wozniacki optimistic about tennis in Saudi Arabia, sees opportunity for positive change

Posted : 17 January 2024

Former Grand Slam winner Caroline Wozniacki has commented on the potential move of tennis tournaments, specifically the WTA Finals, to Saudi Arabia, expressing optimism about the opportunity to bring positive change.

 

This follows Rafael Nadal's recent appointment as an ambassador for the Saudi Tennis Federation. Wozniacki, currently on a comeback journey after having two children, acknowledges the growth of Saudi Arabia's involvement in sports, particularly in golf, football, and now tennis. Despite recognizing concerns about human rights and other issues, Wozniacki believes the influx of money into sports provides a chance to make a positive impact.

 

Rafael Nadal, who was appointed as an ambassador for the Saudi Tennis Federation, expressed excitement about being part of Saudi Arabia's growth and progress, aligning with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's Vision 2030 reform agenda.

 

The country aims to transform itself into a tourism and business hub while diversifying away from fossil fuels. However, Saudi Arabia has faced criticism for using sports to improve its international image, given concerns about human rights and environmental issues.

 

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek, in response to the potential move of the WTA Finals to Saudi Arabia, noted the complexity of the issue, emphasizing that it's not easy to determine if such a move is positive for women in the region.

 

The decision is pending, and tennis legends Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert reportedly sent a letter to WTA chief Steve Simon, urging him to avoid Saudi Arabia due to concerns about women's equality and LGBTQ rights. The WTA stated that discussions regarding the 2024 WTA Finals are ongoing, emphasizing collaboration with various groups and players to shape the future of women's tennis.

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