ATP opposes US Open switch to Monday men’s final

Updated 18 December 2012
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ATP opposes US Open switch to Monday men’s final

LONDON: The ATP opposes the US Open’s switch to a Monday final in 2013 and is not satisfied with the prize money increase for the tournament.
The US Tennis Association announced last Friday that the women’s final would be moved to Sunday and the men’s championship match to Monday next year.
While the move builds in a rest day ahead of each final for the first time, the ATP said yesterday it was against the change and would continue to fight it.
“The ATP and its players have made it clear to the US Open that we do not support a Monday final,” the governing body for men’s tennis said in a statement. “We strongly believe the US Open should keep a similar schedule to the other Grand Slams, with the men’s semifinals completed by Friday and the final on Sunday.
“It is unfortunate the US Open response did not reflect our views on this issue and the ATP and its players will continue to pursue this matter in its discussions with the USTA.” Rain forced the USTA to postpone the men’s final from its scheduled Sunday slot to Monday each of the past five years.
Some top male players complained that the US Open was the sport’s only major tournament that put their semifinals and final on consecutive days. The men’s semifinals in New York will stay on Saturday under the new plan.
A decision about 2014 and beyond probably will come after the 2013 tournament.
Wimbledon, the French Open and Australian Open follow another pattern: women’s semifinals Thursday, men’s semifinals Friday, women’s final Saturday, men’s final Sunday.
The USTA also announced Friday that total prize money in 2013 will jump $4 million to a record $29.5 million. The increase is the largest in tournament history, doubling the roughly $2 million hike from 2011 to 2012.
The ATP said the increase was “appreciated” but did not go far enough.
“Over the last nine months the ATP and its players have asked that the US Open fully recognize the fundamental role of the players in driving US Open revenues, which are the largest in our sport,” the statement said.
“The ATP therefore remains committed to continuing discussions on this issue, with the objective of ensuring that the players’ share of the revenues at the US Open truly reflects the value that they generate for the event.”

Wild cards Meanwhile, teenager Madison Keys of Rock Island, Illinois, and Rhyne Williams of Knoxville, Tennessee, have won wild-card berths for January’s Australian Open in US Tennis Association playoffs.
The 17-year-old Keys beat Mallory Burdette 7-5, 6-3 in the women’s final Sunday, while Williams defeated Tim Smyczek 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 in the men’s final.
Keys won the USTA playoff for the Australian Open for the second consecutive year. She lost in the first round of the 2012 Australian Open.
Williams, 21, will be playing in his second career Grand Slam tournament. He qualified for this year’s US Open and lost in the first round.
The Australian Open starts Jan. 14.


Saudi Arabian football clubs helped with debts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Updated 22 May 2018
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Saudi Arabian football clubs helped with debts by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

  • Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will cover all external debts owed by Saudi Professional League clubs
  • Crown Prince will provide 1,277,000,000 Saudi riyals (around $340 million)

RIYADH: The General Sports Authority and Saudi Arabia Football Federation (SAFF) have announced that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will cover all external debts owed by Saudi Professional League clubs.
According to reports, the Crown Prince will provide 1,277,000,000 Saudi riyals (around $340 million) that will not only clear monies owed but also enable clubs to invest ahead of the 2018-19 season.
The issue of debt had become a major issue in the country’s football scene.
“Some Saudi Arabian clubs are currently experiencing financial problems that require immediate and urgent intervention,” the General Sports Authority, which oversees Saudi Arabian sport, said in a statement released on social media.
The body noted that there are a total of 107 cases under appeal at world governing body FIFA regarding unpaid salaries in Saudi Arabia.
“Failure to intervene urgently to rescue clubs may result in damage to the reputation of the Kingdom in general and Saudi Arabian sport in particular,” added the GSA.
“Some Saudi Arabian clubs may face severe disciplinary sanctions because of the failure to meet financial obligations such as the
denial of the registration of players in general or the deduction of points.”
Unpaid salaries were also a factor in Al-Ittihad and Al-Nassr being unable to appear in this year’s AFC Champions League after they were denied AFC club licenses.
Al-Ittihad were the club with the highest debt of 309 million riyals ($82 million) and welcomed the news.
“We are delighted by the generous initiative of His Royal Highness,” Al-Ittihad president Nawaf Al-Muqairn said in an official statement released by the two-time Asian champions.
“This contributes to creating solid ground for all clubs to move toward achieving their goals.”
Legendary Saudi striker Sami Al-Jaber, recently appointed president of champions Al-Hilal, announced his gratitude on social media.
“Great thanks to His Highness the Crown Prince for the great support that the clubs have enjoyed which enables sport in our country to keep pace with the aspirations of our leadership,” Al-Jaber wrote.
The Crown Prince’s move followed the SAFF announcing a new raft of regulations in April that will come into effect next season and are designed to take the league forward. These included restricting club spending on transfers and salaries to 70 percent of revenue. The size of first-team squads has been reduced from 33 to 28, of which five must be homegrown players of 23 or younger.