Real Madrid and Barcelona part of La Liga quartet to play in Saudi Arabia in 2020

Stars from Real Madrid and Barcelona, such as Eden Hazard and Lionel Messi, will be in the Kingdom for the Super Spanish tournament in January 2020. (AFP)
Updated 11 November 2019

Real Madrid and Barcelona part of La Liga quartet to play in Saudi Arabia in 2020

  • The Kingdom has previously hosted the Italian Super Cup final
  • Tournament was part of the Kingdom’s ongoing efforts to host major global sporting events

RIYADH: La Liga giants Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Valencia will play in a new four-way Spanish Super Cup to be held in Saudi Arabia next year.

A tweet on Monday from Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the Saudi General Sports Authority, confirmed the participation of the teams in a “Super Spanish” tournament, slated to take place between Jan. 8-12. The Spanish Football Federation gave Saudi Arabia a three-year deal on Monday.

The prince said the tournament was part of Saudi Arabia’s ongoing efforts to host major global sporting events.

The Spanish Super Cup was previously a one-off match between the Liga and Copa del Rey champions at the start of the season. But the federation has changed it to semifinals and final featuring four teams — the top teams in each competition — in the middle of the season.

Real Madrid will face Copa del Rey holder Valencia in the first semifinal on Jan. 8 at King Abdullah Sports City stadium outside Jeddah, then Liga champion Barcelona plays Atletico Madrid in the second semi the next day at the same venue.

The final will be on Jan. 12. Barcelona won last year's Super Cup in Morocco.

The Kingdom previously hosted the Italian Super Cup final in 2018 and will do so again in December this year. 

Saudi Arabia also hosted the "Super Clasico" clash between Brazil and Argentina in 2018, with Miranda scoring a late winning goal at the King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah.


Daniil Medvedev wins inaugural Diriyah Tennis Cup final in Saudi Arabia

Updated 15 December 2019

Daniil Medvedev wins inaugural Diriyah Tennis Cup final in Saudi Arabia

  • The Saudi event makes history as the first to use Hawk-Eye Live technology

RIYADH: Daniil Medvedev has won the inaugural $1 million Diriyah Tennis Cup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Medvedev beat Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-2 in Saturday’s final.

Earlier in the tournament he beat Jan-Lennard Struff and Belgium’s David Goffin — also in straight sets.

The Diriyah Tennis Cup, sponsored by Saudi Aramco, will certainly go down in history as eight of the world’s best tennis stars met in the Diriyah Arena for the first international tournament played in the Kingdom.

The event also made tennis history as not only the first in Saudi Arabia, but also one of the first to use Hawk-Eye Live technology.

Replacing the need for line judges and providing more accuracy, Hawk-Eye Live sends visual and audio cues to the chair umpire and off-court monitors within a tenth of a second of a ball bouncing, to show faults and out-of-bounds shots without relying on the naked eye.

In the first of the two semifinals, Fognini overcame the spirited efforts of the ever-entertaining Frenchman Gael Monfils.

In the second semifinal, Medvedev — a standout performer on the ATP Tour in 2019 — maintained his remarkable form to outgun David Goffin, 6-3, 6-3 to ease his way into Saturday’s historic final.

BACKGROUND

The Diriyah Tennis Cup, sponsored by Saudi Aramco, will go down in history as eight of the world’s best tennis stars met in the Diriyah Arena for the first international tournament played in the Kingdom.

The Russian has won four titles in 2019 in Sofia, in Cincinnati, in St. Petersburg and in Shanghai. 

He was the finalist in Brisbane, Barcelona, Washington, Montreal and at the US Open.

Ranked No.5, Medvedev played his last match on Nov. 15 when he was defeated by Alexander Zverev in London.

The first day as part of a three-day tournament saw all eight players in action.

First up on court was Italian Fabio Fognini taking on American John Isner, ranked no. 19 and the holder of the third fastest serve of all time in men’s tennis.