Saudi Arabia all set for Diriyah Tennis Cup as final player line-up revealed

The tournament will take place on Dec. 12 to 14. (Supplied)
Updated 03 December 2019

Saudi Arabia all set for Diriyah Tennis Cup as final player line-up revealed

  • The three-day showdown will take place at the purpose-built Diriyah Arena
  • Musical acts, performing after the Saudi Aramco-sponsored tennis finishes, will also be announced soon

DUBAI: The final line-up for the inaugural Diriyah Tennis Cup was announced on Tuesday, confirming eight top players to step on-court in Saudi Arabia for the first time.

French player Gael Monfils, who is ranked 10th, is joining the tennis tournament that will be held on the outskirts of Riyadh on Dec. 12 to 14.




Gael Monfils. (Supplied)

German rising star Jan-Lennard Struff also confirmed his participation, completing the list of eight tennis superstars representing seven different nationalities at the outdoor hardcourt tournament, held as part of the Diriyah Season, a month-long celebration of sport, entertainment and culture.




Jann-Lennard Struff. (Supplied)

The three-day showdown will take place at the purpose-built Diriyah Arena, which is also hosting the world heavyweight title rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua the week before.

Musical acts, performing after the Saudi Aramco-sponsored tennis finishes, will also be announced soon as part of the Diriyah season.

“Hosting top-tier international tennis in Saudi Arabia for the very first time is another momentous sporting occasion for Saudi Arabia. It is hugely exciting to confirm our final line-up of world class tennis stars from so many different countries that fans in the Kingdom cannot wait to get close to,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, chairman of the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia, said.

Tickets for all Diriyah Season’s concerts, events and entertainment are available at www.diriyahseason.sa.


Nadal, Kyrgios advance as freak weather hits Australian Open

Updated 23 January 2020

Nadal, Kyrgios advance as freak weather hits Australian Open

  • The weather-disrupted tournament on Thursday was hit by dirty rain which left courts muddy and unplayable.

MELBOURNE: Rafael Nadal and Nick Kyrgios reached the Australian Open third round on Thursday after the weather-disrupted tournament faced a new challenge: Dirty rain which left courts muddy and unplayable.

After a day of cleanup operations and delays, Australia’s Kyrgios fought his way past Frenchman Gilles Simon in four sets and Wimbledon champion Simona Halep stamped her class with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Britain’s Harriet Dar, while Belinda Bencic knocked out former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko — she was playing despite the sudden death of her father this month.

Nadal, a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4), 6-1 winner over Argentina’s Federico Delbonis, miscued a shot that hit a ballgirl in the head, but he melted hearts when he apologized and gave her a kiss on the cheek.

“I was so scared for her, honestly,” the 19-time Grand Slam winner said. “The ball was quick and straight on the head. She’s a very brave girl.”

Kyrgios, increasingly popular with home fans after his fundraising efforts for Australia’s bushfire crisis, was cruising at two sets up when he dropped the third set and with it, his composure.

But just when it looked like he would suffer one of his trademark implosions, he rallied for a 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 victory.

“I definitely lost my way a little bit ... but I decided to refocus,” Kyrgios said of his mini-meltdown in the third set. “I could have gone to a very dark place in the fourth set but I put it away.”

Kyrgios and Nadal stay on course for a fourth-round clash and the next instalment in their grudge match after the Aussie hit back at criticism from the “super salty” Spaniard last year.

Their victories followed a day of upheaval caused by the dirty rain, the latest weather problem at a tournament which has contended with bushfire smoke, heavy downpours and strong wind.

Rain mixed with a dust storm coated the Melbourne Park facilities in a fine layer of mud which took hours to clean and made many outside courts temporarily unusable.

As action resumed Alexander Zverev, another man who has a running feud with Kyrgios, showed signs of a return to form as he downed Egor Gerasimov 7-6 (7/5), 6-4, 7-5.

The German seventh seed has been practicing up to seven hours a day after a winless ATP Cup and the hard work paid off as he safely reached the third round.

However, fifth seed Dominic Thiem had a scare as he was taken to five sets by Australia’s 140th-ranked Alex Bolt before recovering his composure to win 6-2, 5-7, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1, 6-2.