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)
Short Url
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.


Joshua-Pulev heavyweight title fight postponed: Promoters

Anthony Joshua
Updated 04 April 2020

Joshua-Pulev heavyweight title fight postponed: Promoters

LONDON: The world heavyweight title fight between Briton Anthony Joshua and the IBF’s mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev of Bulgaria originally scheduled for June 20 has been postponed, promoters Matchroom Boxing said on Friday.
Joshua’s defense of his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles was set to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but the coronavirus outbreak has brought global sport to a standstill, with no competition taking place in the United Kingdom.
“A new date for the event ... is currently being worked on,” Matchroom Boxing said in a statement. “We will announce any updates in due course and continue to explore the possibility of hosting this fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.”
Pulev said last month the fight would take place “toward the end of the year” due to the outbreak and that he would have no problem fighting without spectators in attendance.
It marks the second time their bout has not gone ahead as planned. Joshua was initially due to fight Pulev at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in October 2017 but the Bulgarian withdrew after suffering a shoulder injury in sparring.

BACKGROUND

• Joshua’s defense of his IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO titles was set to take place at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but the coronavirus outbreak has brought global sport to a standstill, with no competition taking place in the UK.

• It marks the second time their bout has not gone ahead as planned. Joshua was initially due to fight Pulev at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in October 2017 but the Bulgarian withdrew after suffering a shoulder injury in sparring.

Pulev had previously challenged for the IBF world heavyweight title in 2014 but lost to Wladimir Klitschko in Hamburg when he was knocked out in the fifth round.
The 30-year-old Joshua reclaimed the WBA, WBO and IBF belts with a unanimous points win over Andy Ruiz Jr. in December.
Separately, former world champion Amir Khan said Friday that he is eager to end his boxing career with a lucrative bout against ring great Manny Pacquiao or in an all-British contest with Kell Brook.
The 33-year-old Khan, who won his last bout with a fourth-round victory over Billy Dib in Saudi Arabia in July, had reportedly been considering retirement, but he is determined to go out with a flourish against high-class opposition.
“I have a couple of fights left in me — one or two at least,” said Khan, speaking to promoter Eddie Hearn via Instagram on Friday.