Saudi Arabia's involvement with tennis might have been a certainty, but many people are still unhappy. Tennis fans, in particular, are furious with it, and we've seen it with the heavy backlash Rafael Nadal got when he was announced as the Saudi Arabian tennis ambassador.
He wasn't the first one to deal with the country, as we've seen the Next Gen ATP Finals played there. Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic played an exhibition match in the country, and they'll both return later this year for more matches.
They will be joined by Rafale Nadal, who will likely feature in many things related to tennis and Saudi Arabia in the coming months. His compatriot Alcaraz sees nothing wrong with the fact that he became an ambassador.
To Alcaraz, he's actually the perfect person to do that, and the 20-year-old spoke about it ahead of his participation at the 2024 Argentina Open in Buenos Aires.
"I haven't heard much criticism, I have heard people say that they have criticized him. Rafa has decided to sign as an ambassador and it doesn't seem bad to me."
"He has signed as an ambassador of tennis in a country that is developing and opening up to the world of sport. Who better than Rafa to promote tennis in places where perhaps it was never played before?"
Alcaraz has been to Saudi Arabia before and saw some of the things that are being changed, and he's been impressed with what he saw. He further said that the country is quickly evolving, and it's good for tennis.
"It is good for tennis that there are more venues, that there are more and more countries where we can play. Saudi Arabia is evolving very quickly in every sense, as a country and in the world of sport."
"They are betting on football, boxing, now a lot of tennis. I don't know how far they will go in the world of tennis."