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Have you read about the latest news relating to the Six Kings Slam? If not, you’ll know all about this exhibition event by the team we get done today. And given the all-star line-up that is promised to participate in this event, it’s one that you’ll definitely be excited about.
So, to get straight to the point, what exactly is the Six Kings Slam? Well, the clue is in the name! This is a brand new exhibition event that will feature as part of the ‘Riyadh Season’ out in Saudi Arabia. To clarify, this is a festival period in which many high-profile sporting events tend to take place, and now – tennis is part of the program.
As for where the ‘six’ comes from, there are six confirmed participants, all of whom are recent or long-term stars of the sport. And two of the biggest names who are set to compete include Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. However, with the event scheduled for October 2024, many fans are wondering how this might impact the ATP schedule 2024 as a whole.
After all, the ATP season is still going strong in October, so how will all of this fit in with the ATP commitments of the confirmed players?
Let me address all of these concerns while providing a full Six Kings Slam breakdown right now.
2024 Six Kings Slam – the confirmed players
- 1 2024 Six Kings Slam – the confirmed players
- 2 Six Kings Slam 2024 – full event breakdown
- 3 Six Kings Slam scheduling clashes with ATP 2024 calendar
- 4 Interesting developments attached to the 2024 Six Kings Slam
One of the most interesting parts of the brand new Six Kings Slam concerns the players – also known as ‘The Kings’ for this event. This is perfectly understandable, especially because the event is tipped to be one of the largest exhibition competitions of the year, if not ever!
So on that note, let me reveal the six players before disclosing some of the finer details for the Six Kings Slam 2024. Check out the full list of confirmed players here:
- Novak Djokovic
- Rafael Nadal
- Jannik Sinner
- Holger Rune
- Carlos Alcaraz
- Daniil Medvedev
This is clearly a line-up that consists of the biggest names in men’s tennis right now. These guys have a grand total of 50 Grand Slam titles between them, although Djokovic and Nadal have the rights to 46 of these. This in itself is just incredible.
And for those of you with a keen eye, you may have picked up on the fact that one of these six players hasn’t won a Grand Slam before. That player is Holger Rune. But if he continues on his current trajectory, I’m confident that this will change over the next few years.
Anyway, this confirms the participants for the 2024 Six Kings Slam, but how about the event itself?
Six Kings Slam 2024 – full event breakdown
As noted above, the Six Kings Slam is scheduled to be held in October 2024. The event was confirmed on February 6th, and it is poised to be one of the largest exhibition events in the history of the sport. To add to that, I expect that the Six Kings Slam will be rather spectacular in more ways than one.
With such enormous funds at their disposal, it won’t just be the quality of tennis that catches the attention of fans around the world. Of course, any specifics of these ‘extras’ are yet to be disclosed to the public. But if we look at an event like the 2023 Next Gen Finals and use this as an indicator, things are more than promising.
As for the format of the tournament, this hasn’t been confirmed so far. However, I would expect it to follow some form of round-robin format, meaning it would start with six guys split into two groups of three. This is similar to how the current ATP Finals works, so I’d be surprised if the Six Kings Slam strayed away from this system.
Beyond that, I’d expect the event to proceed into a knockout stage consisting of two semi-finals and one final. If that occurs, two of the three players will qualify from each group, and of course, two will then face off for the title.
As for a set date and event schedule, this will not be known until closer to the time. But one thing I can confirm is that the prize money will be around $6 million for the winner. Amazingly, this is more than twice the prize money awarded to the Wimbledon winners in 2023 ($2.9 million).
And the latest rumours suggest each player will get a $1.5 million participation fee!
Six Kings Slam scheduling clashes with ATP 2024 calendar
I mentioned earlier that as exciting as the 2024 Six Kings Slam is, there will be inevitable difficulties concerning the ATP calendar. That’s because October is actually quite a busy month for the ATP Tour, as the following tournaments are set to take place in that month:
- Shanghai Masters 1000 – September 30th to October 7th
- Paris Masters 1000 – October 28th start date
Of course, the six players who are set to compete in the Six Kings Slam are expected to feature in these 1000-level tournaments. More to the point, they will be hoping to prioritize them, which could make things a little tricky for this event in Saudi Arabia.
I should also mention that the week before the Paris Masters, there are two ATP 500 events running in Switzerland and Austria – both set to start on October 21st. So really, the only clear gap lies between October 7th and October 21st.
Interesting developments attached to the 2024 Six Kings Slam
I’m acutely aware that the news of the Six Kings Slam may catch many tennis fans completely off guard. After all, while rumours have been rife about the ATP and WTA Tours becoming ‘closer’ with Saudi Arabia, not many concrete developments have come through. But clearly, the announcement of the 2024 Six Kings Slam changes all of that.
As for how this exhibition event has come to fruition, there are a few things you need to be aware of. So let me provide some specific information on the key developments that have led to this event now.
Rafael Nadal is now an ambassador for the Saudi Tennis Federation
Of the four points I’ve referenced here, this is the most direct connection to the Six Kings Slam. With Rafael Nadal being an icon of the game, the fact that he has recently chosen to become an ambassador for the Saudi Tennis Federation is huge news. Such a connection will obviously lead to a few ‘strings being pulled,’ so to speak.
But I’m confident that Nadal will also believe in the future of tennis in this region, otherwise, he wouldn’t have stepped into such a role.
Saudi Arabia is reportedly close to a deal to host the WTA Finals
This may not seem like a direct connection, but it certainly shows the intention of Saudi Arabia to boost its involvement in professional tennis. And if the recent rumours are true, a deal could be announced within a month or two that Saudi Arabia will host the WTA Finals going forward.
To be clear, this isn’t yet official, but several reputable sources have hinted that a deal could be reached in either February or March 2024.
An existing contract for the Next Gen Finals is in place until 2027
This was the earliest connection between Saudi Arabia and the ATP. As you may remember, Saudi Arabia secured a contract to host the Next Gen Finals in Jeddah, and the first instalment of this event was in November 2023. This contract is set to continue through 2027, so the inroads are clearly there already.
But whether Saudi Arabia had already planned to host a Six Kings Slam when they sealed this contract, I cannot say for sure.
Saudi Arabia is already approaching the ATP to buy two tournaments
The fourth and final development that I believe pushed Saudi Arabia to create such an event relates to a rumour dating back to early 2023. At the time, rumours were circulating that Saudi Arabia had approached to buy the Miami Open and the Madrid Open – both 1000-level tournaments.
However, any offers and purchase plans have been subsequently refused, which I imagine will just increase the size of the offer in the future. Then again, if such a deal were to happen, I’d have serious doubts about how long the ATP could sustain itself in its current form.
But until that time, we’ve all got the 2024 Six Kings Slam to look forward to!
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