Saudi Arabia would like to buy and merge WTA and ATP

The latest incredible rumor sees Saudi Arabia once again at the center of the tennis scene

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Saudi Arabia would like to buy and merge WTA and ATP
© Patrick Smith / Staff Getty Images Sport

WTA and ATP in a single Tour thanks to the aegis of Saudi Arabia, which reportedly have offered $2 billion to purchase the two main associations, the ATP and the WTA, with the aim of merging the two tours into a single super Tours.

Simon Briggs, British journalist for the Telegraph, revealed that the Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia's sovereign investment fund, would have offered two billion dollars to buy the two main world tennis associations.

A sensational offer, with a deadline of 90 days, which ATP president Andrea Gaudenzi is seriously considering. What is currently only an indiscretion, if confirmed, could overturn tennis as we know it.

Given the well-known and huge economic problems that have hit the WTA in recent years, the offer could be evaluated to restore the women's movement.

Saudi Arabia had repeatedly expressed its desire to organize an ATP Master 1000, but the already very busy calendar would force the ATP to evaluate two solutions.

The least likely one is to include a further event on the calendar and the other which would involve the replacement of one of the tournaments already present with the Saudi one.

For the moment the only federation certainly against it is Tennis Australia, with Craig Tiley who is thinking of an alternative project that would counteract the offer of the Public Investment Fund.

In the last few hours, however, a prompt denial has arrived from the sovereign investment fund, also reported by the Telegraph, which reported the declaration that any intention on the part of the fund to want to acquire tennis is unfounded and that the intention is instead that of becoming part of the already existing ecosystem.

ATP and WTA
ATP and WTA© Brian Bahr / Staff Getty Images
 

The deal between ATP and Saudi Arabia

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and ATP have officially announced a multi-year strategic partnership.

In a joint statement ATP and Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund explained:

"PIF will sponsor tournaments in Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Beijing and the Nitto ATP Finals, as well as the Next Gen ATP Finals, hosted in Jeddah until 2027.
PIF becomes the official naming partner of the ATP ranking and at the end of the year, in Turin, the number 1 in the world ranking will be awarded as Year-End Number 1, presented by PIF. ATP and PIF will collaborate for the long-term future of tennis. The PIF will do this by actively contributing to ATP's OneVision strategic plan, which focuses on driving improved fan experiences."

Mohamed Al-Sayyad, Head of Corporate Brand at PIF, said: "This strategic partnership aligns with our broader vision of improving quality of life and driving the transformation of sport both in Saudi Arabia and around the world. Tennis is fast becoming a key sport in Saudi Arabia. Between 2019 and 2023, players increased by 46%. The PIF will leverage the ATP's expertise to develop further opportunities for young Saudis in tennis."

Massimo Calvelli, ATP CEO, added: "Our strategic partnership with PIF marks an important moment for tennis. It is a shared commitment to promote 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 new period of progress and transformation."

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