Next Gen ATP Finals head to Saudi Arabia
August 24, 2023 07:21 PM
The Next Gen Finals are the latest major sporting event to head to Saudi Arabia with the ATP announcing on Thursday that Jeddah will be the host city until 2027.
This year's end-of-season tournament will take place over five days at the King Abdullah Sports City on indoor hard court from November 28 to December 2, with a record $2 million prize money on offer.
The finals have been held for the last five years in Milan.
Jeddah's successful bid makes history as the first official professional tennis event to take place in Saudi Arabia.
"The ATP Tour is truly global and exploring new markets is central to growing the game," said ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.
"Bringing the Next Gen ATP Finals to Jeddah is our chance to inspire new fans, in a region with a vast young population, and unite audiences around tennis."
The Next Gen Finals, first launched in 2017, brings together the world's best 21-and-under players.
Nine of the current top 10 players in the ATP rankings have competed at the event, including past champions Stefanos Tsitsipas, Jannik Sinner and current world number one Carlos Alcaraz.
Sports have been a major focus of the oil-rich kingdom's effort to rebrand as a global business and tourism destination under the Vision 2030 reform agenda pursued by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the PIF chairman.
Football clubs in the Gulf state, the world's biggest crude exporter, have signed a host of major stars beginning with Cristiano Ronaldo last year and continuing with Karim Benzema, Neymar and Sadio Mane this year.
Saudi Arabia also caused shockwaves in golf with its financing of the rebel LIV series and hosts a Formula One Grand Prix.
Earlier this month the Saudi sovereign wealth fund announced a new sports investment company designed to draw "major global events" to the kingdom.