'Wouldn't Do It': John McEnroe Opposes ATP's Decision To Play In Saudi Arabia

'Wouldn't Do It': John McEnroe Opposes ATP's Decision To Play In Saudi Arabia

by Evita Mueller

John McEnroe doesn't favour the ATP doing business with Saudi Arabia even though he recognizes it as inevitable.

The ATP held talks with Saudi Arabia earlier this year about allowing the country to buy into the sport. There has been strong interest from the country to enter the sport ever since the Gulf became a mainstay for the sport.

We've had events in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar for a while now, and obviously, Saudi Arabia was going to come knocking. It's received mixed reviews both from players and especially from fans. For John McEnroe, it's not something he would pursue personally, but he thinks the outrage is largely hypocritical.

This is something that is being bandied about obviously since golf did this. Still, I think a lot of the people – I’ll preface this by saying – are hypocrites that sit around and say that golf or tennis shouldn’t go there. In contrast, tons of businesses and tons of these people that you know about, including our government and many, many others go there and do business, but all of a sudden it’s outrageous that sports athletes do it.

McEnroe on the outrage

Having said that, I wouldn’t do it. I don’t think our sport needs it. I don’t think it would benefit from it, and I don’t think we should do it, personally. But as Chrissie said, it’s not up to us. Someone else is going to make that — they’re talking about the Next Gen Finals going there, 21 and under. This is just something that I don’t understand why we’re going in that direction, but that’s for another day and another topic.

The Next Gen ATP Finals are indeed happening in Jeddah later this year, with the WTA Finals possibly going too. The latter is purely speculation, while the former was in the works for months. It's also likely only the beginning, as we'll see more events happening in the future.


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