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.