The ATP Tour and Saudi Arabia – link becomes official with new deal confirmed

Saudi Arabia has been at the heart of some truly positive sports stories this summer. Of course, they have been rather influential in terms of bringing high-profile football players to their domestic league in recent months. However, while some people view this as a positive, there are others who view this in a negative light as well. And to be perfectly honest, I can see both sides of the argument.

There are some who believe that Saudi Arabia and the vast sums of money that they have available means they could swoop in and destroy the ATP Tour, as some believe they have done with golf. In contrast, others believe that an integration between the ATP Tour and Saudi Arabia will improve the diversity of professional tennis while giving the sport a boost as a whole. Yet regardless of personal opinions on the matter, I will simply concentrate on the facts of this fresh deal.

ATP Next Gen Finals

It was just a few months ago that discussions involving the ATP and Saudi Arabia were confirmed to be taking place. This already sparked controversy among fans and professional players alike. Yet within the last 24/48 hours, I can confirm that these discussions have resulted in a confirmed contract, as a new deal has been agreed concerning the Next Gen ATP Finals. This means that for the very first time, Saudi Arabia will host an official ATP event as part of the mainstream calendar.

As for the terms of this deal, that’s what I would like to bring to your attention right now. 

Saudi Arabia bags first ATP Tour event – five-year deal agreed

In case the Next Gen ATP Finals is an event that is new to you, let me quickly clarify what this is. Much like the official ATP Finals, this event brings the top players in the ATP standings under the age of 21 together for an end-of-season tournament. For the previous five years, this tournament has been played in Turin, Italy, yet we all knew that there would be a fresh location from 2023 onwards. 

On that note, there were a range of countries and cities that submitted bids for the Next Gen ATP Finals contract back in March 2023. Yet it’s only within the last couple of days that a final decision has been made, which brings me to the key information surrounding this ATP/Saudi Arabia deal.

Host city – Jeddah

As mentioned above, the Next Gen ATP Finals has been played in Italy for the previous five years. However, given that a fresh contract has now been agreed, I can confirm that the host city for the Next Gen ATP Finals will be Jeddah. Or more specifically, the venue for the event will be the King Abdullah Sports City, which is an indoor facility that has hard courts. Therefore, the surface and conditions for the Next Gen ATP Finals will remain consistent with previous editions.

Prize money – $2 million

As we all know, Saudi Arabia has a rather large pool of money that is being invested in many sports and events at the moment. And thanks to such resources, the prize money for the Next Gen ATP Finals this year is set to be $2 million. When you compare this with what was on offer in 2022, the prize money has increased by $600,000. This is obviously an immense increase, and this will no doubt be a motivator for the top youngsters to give it their absolute best when competing in the tournament.

Contract length – 2023-2027

This is perhaps the most significant of all the details that I am sharing with you today. And I say this because Saudi Arabia has managed to secure a five-year contract with the ATP to host the Next Gen Finals. Therefore, it’s not like they have managed to negotiate a mere one-off tournament to bring top-level tennis to the country. Instead, Saudi Arabia has managed to make a successful bid to put on a show for a prestigious tournament for the next five years. And on that note, the first of these five Next Gen ATP Finals will be played in November 2023.

First event dates – November 28th-December 2nd 2023

Following on from the details shared above, if you wish to tune in for the Next Gen ATP Finals this year, you should know that the event is set to begin on November 28th. From this date onwards, players will participate in several round-robin matches, and the top performers will then proceed to a knockout stage to determine the eventual winner. 

Of course, it should be a very entertaining event to watch, so make sure you mark this on your calendar!

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