Tennis champs excited to make history at Diriyah Tennis Cup

The line-up is composed of eight world class players representing seven different nationalities. (Supplied)
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Updated 12 December 2019

Tennis champs excited to make history at Diriyah Tennis Cup

  • The inaugural Diriyah Tennis Cup is held as part of the Diriyah Season, a month-long celebration of sport, entertainment and culture
  • Most of the players also mentioned how “beautiful” the arena is, while noting the good weather and the hospitality of Saudis

DUBAI: The star-studded line up of the Diriyah Tennis Cup have expressed their excitement over the first-ever tennis event in Saudi Arabia, lauding the tournament “historic” tournament and the Kingdom’s efforts to boost culture and entertainment.  

The line-up, composed of eight world class players representing seven different nationalities, are to compete in a three-day tournament that opened on Thursday on the outskirts of Riyadh.

Three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka said he “visited Saudi Arabia a few months ago,” and was impressed with “what they’ve built in a very short amount of time.”

Another tennis star, Daniil Medvedev, said: “It is really exciting here and a completely new experience. Things are changing here in Saudi Arabia and this tennis tournament shows this.”

French player Gael Monfils, who ranks 10th globally, said he “decided to come here because of the history.”

“I think it is a historical event and to be part of such is very special,” he added.

Most of the players also mentioned how “beautiful” the arena is, while noting the good weather and the hospitality of Saudis.

John Isner from the US said: “I really like it here. The weather is great, we have nice clothes. The local organization is very professional. It began with the very warm welcome and we are feeling very good here. It is a beautiful court; a beautiful stadium and I think I could not ask for a better venue for this tournament. All players are very happy to be here.”

The inaugural Diriyah Tennis Cup is held as part of the Diriyah Season, a month-long celebration of sport, entertainment and culture.

All ticket holders for the Diriyah Tennis Cup will be able to attend concerts featuring global superstars Calvin Harris and Major Lazer on Dec. 13, and world-renowned DJs Swedish House Mafia the day after.

Follow Diriyah Season’s news and announcements on the official social media pages on Twitter and Instagram @diriyahseason.


England cricket players donate, take pay cuts amid COVID-19 crisis

Updated 05 April 2020

England cricket players donate, take pay cuts amid COVID-19 crisis

  • The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said the season will not start before May 28
  • ECB’s centrally contracted women players to take a salary reduction for the months of April, May and June

LONDON: England’s centrally contracted male cricketers will donate £500,000 ($613,000) to the Board and charities while their women’s team counterparts have volunteered a three-month pay cut amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the players’ association (PCA) said.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has said the season will not start before May 28 and speculation has been mounting over how their leading players would respond to the situation.

“Following a meeting today of all of the England men’s centrally contracted cricketers, the players have agreed to make an initial donation of £0.5 million to the ECB and to selected good causes ...” the Professional Cricketers’ Association said in a statement.

“This contribution is the equivalent of all of the England centrally contracted players taking a 20 percent reduction in their monthly retainers for the next three months.

“The players will continue to discuss with the ECB the challenging situation faced by the game and society as a whole and will consider how best to support the ECB and both the cricketing and wider community going forward.”

The ECB’s centrally contracted women players have volunteered to take a salary reduction for the months of April, May and June in line with their coaches and support staff.

England women’s captain Heather Knight said: “All the players felt like it was the right response in the current climate to take a pay cut in line with what our support staff are taking.

“We know how the current situation is affecting the game and we want to help as much as we can.

“We will be discussing with the ECB further ways we can help the game in the coming weeks,” added Knight, who has signed up with the National Health Service (NHS) as a volunteer.

The ECB has announced a 61 million pounds aid package to help the local game withstand the financial impact of the pandemic.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler is currently auctioning the shirt he wore in England’s 2019 World Cup final victory to raise funds for efforts to fight the coronavirus.