The Laver Cup ‘could be in Saudi Arabia’ reveals tournament boss
Saudi Arabia could be continuing its move into tennis, with Laver Cup co-founder Tony Godsick admitting that he expects them to be ‘part of this discussion’ as a potential future host.
The Laver Cup was founded in 2017 by 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer and Godsick’s management company, Team8, alongside businessman Jorge Paulo Lemann and Tennis Australia.
Its premise is similar to golf’s Ryder Cup, pitting Team Europe against Team World, with the European’s currently leading 4-2.
In 2019 the tournament became an official ATP event and Godsick has now discussed Saudi Arabia moving into the sport in a recent interview, “Saudi Arabia has become big in sports….in golf, in Formula 1, in football, in boxing. But for a long time now.
“Tennis is also not entirely new [to Saudi Arabia] anymore; show [exhibition] events have taken place in the past; the NextGen Finals were recently held there. Sport is a language that everyone speaks. Sport can enable dialogue and change. Tennis is late to the party, I would say.”
The Next Gen Finals are set to be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, until 2027 and the nation’s capital is also hosting an exhibition in October featuring Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Daniil Medvedev and Holger Rune.
— Next Gen ATP Finals (@nextgenfinals) August 24, 2023
Godsick was then asked about whether he could see the Laver Cup being held in Saudi Arabia, “Sure. One day the Laver Cup could be in Saudi Arabia.
“We rotate between European cities and cities in the rest of the world. I expect Saudi Arabia will be part of this discussion at some point in the future. We have not been contacted by them yet, but many in the region have.”
The Laver Cup alternates between being hosted in Europe and the rest of the world every year, but has only been in North America outside of Europe so far.
Last year the tournament was held in Vancouver and will return to Europe later this year in Berlin, Germany.
Inside the baseline…
It just seems an inevitability that Saudi Arabia is going to move more and more into tennis, and tournaments will want to follow where the money is. Considering that outside of Europe the Laver Cup has only been held in North America, it would be nice to see them diversify a bit more, but perhaps into a more tennis popular nation like Argentina or Mexico.
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