The Saudi exhibition event, Diriyah Tennis Cup, will feature Daniil Medvedev, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem, and Cameron Norrie. The tournament which will be held between the 8th and 10th of December offers total prize money of $3 million.
Saudi Arabia has been accused of violating human rights in the country for a long time. It offers top tennis players hefty appearance money to take part in these exhibition matches. Amnesty International didn’t hold back its views of the event saying that the players are “effectively being hired to take part in the latest jamboree of Saudi sportswashing”.
But top players have no problem taking the money. Cameron Norrie dismissed the human rights issue and said:
I don’t feel it’s right for me to get involved with individual government politics. My job is to be a professional tennis player and this event in Saudi allows me to train with some of the best players in the world and potentially win the Australian Open.
Tennis is not the only sport struggling the balance the petrodollars offered by Saudi Arabia. Other sports such as boxing, golf, and soccer are also being lured with money.