Chris Evert joins Martina Navratilova against WTA in Saudi Arabia

Tennis is taking a turn with alleged or potential commercial deals with Saudi Arabia, but this is not in the favor of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Chris Evert joins Martina Navratilova against WTA in Saudi Arabia
© Clive Brunskill / Staff Getty Images Sport

Tennis is taking a turn with alleged or potential commercial deals with Saudi Arabia, but this is not in the favor of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. Evert joined Navratilova in opposing the WTA Finals being held in Saudi Arabia in the future.

Martina Navratilova told sports journalist Jon Wertheim: "I can tell you 100 percent if I were still playing, I would not be going to Saudi Arabia for the Championships." Chris Evert agrees with Navratilova, and explained on X: "The WTA is about equality.

We have been leaders and role models in women's sports. We have made decisions the last 50 years with integrity and dignity. We have empowered women…Take less money and do the right thing." WTAm CEO Steve Simon had previously said that the country was in big trouble as host of women's tour events.

He cited Saudi Arabia's track record on women's rights and LGBTQ as a reason to scrub the sport. WTA declined to deny recent rumors that the WTA Finals could take place in Saudi Arabia in the future, saying no decision had been made.

Navratilova's position on trans athletes in sports

The victory of Alicia Rowley, a born male tennis player, in one of the tournaments for women over 55 organized by the United States Tennis Association, sparked a harsh reaction from Martina Navratilova.The former 9-time Wimbledon champion has railed against the presence of trans athletes in certain women's events.

Champion of LGBTQ+ battles, Navratilova was one of the first sportswomen to come out to send an important message.The 18-time singles Grand Slam champion intervened in a discussion born on Twitter and expressed her point of view without using too many words.

Navratilova explained: "Hey, USTA: women's tennis is not for failed men athletes, whatever their age. Would this be allowed at the US Open this month? Only with ID? I don't think so… It is patriarchy for biological men to insist on the right to enter spaces created for women.

How hard is that to understand? It is patriarchy for biological men to insist on the right to compete in the women's category in sports."

Chris Evert Martina Navratilova
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