Swiatek 'Ready To Play' In Saudi Arabia If WTA Decides To

Swiatek 'Ready To Play' In Saudi Arabia If WTA Decides To

by Kadir Macar

WTA number one Iga Swiatek has declared her willingness to play anywhere the WTA decides and that includes countries like Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has been heavily investing in sports lately with the country setting their sights on tennis. Tennis in its proximity is nothing new as events have been held in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar for years. None of those countries have great human rights records but Saudi Arabia in particular has a bad reputation according to human rights organisations around the world.

Even so, it doesn't stop them from doing business. Tennis is on the menu as the ATP confirmed that they've been in talks with the country about them possibly buying into tennis. It's a controversial topic that split the community though players don't seem to mind. Nick Kyrgios emphatically celebrated the news on social media looking forward to the money.

Carlos Alcaraz didn't raise any objections to it either which leaves Andy Murray who already affirmed his stance on not playing. When it comes to the WTA things are a bit more complicated. WTA CEO Steve Simon confirmed that they were not in any kind of discussions with Saudi Arabia even though they were contacted.

Women's rights in the country have been an issue forever as only recently women were permitted to drive there. Another issue is the WTA's pro-LGBTQ+ stance which the country doesn't share. WTA's leading player Iga Swiatek didn't speak directly on the issue opting to follow the WTA's lead as she generally does. If they greenlight an event in Saudi Arabia she'll play.

Basically I'm kind of still waiting for some official information that is going to come out because it's hard to know what is the rumour and what's not. I'll be ready to play wherever the WTA decides we're going to play.


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