Andy Roddick sides with Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert raising legitimate questions on Saudi Arabia’s entry into tennis

Last year, Saudi Arabia stormed the tennis world in surprise after earning the Next Gen's hosting rights for four years.


Andy Roddick sides with Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert raising legitimate questions on Saudi Arabia’s entry into tennis

Andy Roddick seconds Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova's opinion on Saudi Arabia (Via Imago/X)

Andy Roddick has sided with Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert in a rising controversy in the tennis world. Roddick raised questions about how dangerous it can be to enter Saudi Arabia.

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The former US Open champion revealed this concern in reference to an op-ed written by Navratilova and Evert in The Washington Post against the speculation of an agreement with the Middle-East country to host the WTA Finals.

The rumor of the supposed deal with the WTA has stirred criticism from legends and players, expressing their doubt about the Arab country, underlining that Saudi Arabia discriminates against women and people in love with the same gender, which leads to political persecution and imprisonment.

Andy Roddick said on ‘Served! podcast’ that players cannot be protected in countries where it is illegal to love a person of the same gender.

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In Saudi Arabia, loving a person of the same gender is illegal. But we have players who have openly come out. Several players like Daria Kasatkina, to name one, have come out. If there are tournaments in that country, what should we say to these players, who have to take a week off because of their coming out--How do we protect our players whose lifestyle choices are considered criminal when they enter that country?
Andy Roddick said on Served! podcast

Last year, Saudi Arabia stormed the tennis world in surprise after earning the Next Gen’s hosting rights for four years. They also hosted an exhibition event last December in which star players like Novak Djokovic, Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka, and Carlos Alcaraz featured.

Saudi Arabia to host ‘6 Kings Slam’ in October

The Saudi Arabia General Entertainment Authority has announced that it will host an elite tennis exhibition featuring Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, also including three Grand Slam winners and a Masters winner in October.

Jannik Sinner
L-R: Carlos Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic, Jannik Sinner (Images via Imago/X)

The games will be played in Riyadh. Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Daniil Medvedev and Holger Rune are the other four players in the ‘6 Kings Slam‘. The event will be part of the Saudi cultural and entertainment festival Riyadh Season.

Holger Rune is the only player among the six who is yet to win a Slam, with Jannik Sinner making it after his Australian Open title victory two weeks ago. Rafael Nadal, who is the ambassador for the Saudi Arabian Tennis Federation, reacted to the news, saying he is looking forward to it. However, the exhibition game doesn’t break the ATP season, as the full October schedule will continue as usual, including the Masters 1000 tournament for players in Shanghai or Paris.

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