Pegula Hopes Saudi Tennis Involvement Is 'More Friendly' Than In Golf

Pegula Hopes Saudi Tennis Involvement Is 'More Friendly' Than In Golf

by Jordan Reynolds

Jessica Pegula is hopeful that Saudi Arabia's moves to enter the tennis world will not end up being as divisive as its actions in the gold world were.

The world No. 5 is currently playing on the green clay courts at the Charleston Open. The draw in Charleston has Pegula and Ons Jabeur as the Top 2 seeds. Jabeur is also the defending champion.

Pegula has already played her first match in Charleston and it was a thriller. She won a final-set tiebreak against Amanda Anisimova, who recently spoke about her mental health break from tennis.

Despite this, Pegula still took the time to speak to Front Office Sports. One of the topics the publication asked her about was the greater Saudi visibility in tennis and the likelihood of this increasing.

Pegula began by acknowledging that it no longer seems like a question of whether the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) will get involved in women's tennis, with this now seeming inevitable.

"They kind of seem to know they want to get involved. It doesn't seem like it's a question. It seems like: "We're going to, we don't know when yet, but it's going to happen."

The six-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist then outlined why she was hopeful that any further Saudi involvement in the sport would be done in a more constructive manner than their controversial entry into the world of golf.

"After seeing what happened with LIV and that kind of didn't go well, it seems like they want to do it in a better way because obviously they're doing it to help sports and stuff, but they don't want it to look bad as well.

Pegula ended by mentioning the backlash caused by LIV in golf and feels the PIF can learn from that and avoid that unwanted fate when they invest further in tennis.

"So I think they're definitely open in tennis, it seems like, to doing it maybe in a more friendly or mutual way where it doesn't end up like LIV, where you're kind of split and now it creates a lot of bad backlash and everything."


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