Saudi Arabia is reportedly making moves in their pursuit of tennis as the country's investment fund is looking to buy the United Cup.
The United Cup is a mixed teams competition seeing teams of 4 to 5 players from both the ATP and WTA Tours competing in a team format against each other. It's a rather simple premise as it was introduced last year as a replacement for the ATP Cup.
The event is part of the Australian Open prep events played across several cities in Australia, and it proved quite a huge success in its first edition. News about Saudi Arabia making moves for tennis shouldn't surprise anyone because we've seen reports that the country held talks with the ATP about possibly buying into the sport.
Fans reacted rather negatively to the news which isn't a huge surprise. Players on the other hand didn't protest too much which was expected considering that those events would likely feature some of the largest prize money available on the Tour.
WTA Chief Steve Simon confirmed to the media that the WTA was contacted though they didn't hold any formal talks with the country. The women's Tour is generally in a trickier situation than the ATP, having to represent players that identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, a community that could struggle with competing in the country.
Even so, the country is pushing on through its Public Investment Fund, which has made investments in various sports across the globe. According to Daily Mail, they are in talks with Tennis Australia about buying the United Cup.
For Saudi Arabia, it's a clever way to buy into both the ATP and WTA Tour at the same time because it's a jointly run event. Talks taking place indicate that Tennis Australia is likely open to selling the event, which is great news for the home player Nick Kyrgios.