Carlos Alcaraz weighs in on controversial Rafael Nadal Saudi deal after joining £6m event | Tennis | Sport

Nadal recently announced that he would be the new ambassador for the Saudi Tennis Federation. He is set to open a branch of his Rafa Nadal Academy in the nation as a result. “Everywhere you look in Saudi Arabia, you can see growth and progress and I’m excited to be part of that,” the 14-time French Open champion said of his new role.

The multi-million dollar deal has come with its share of backlash, as Amnesty International has already accused the Kingdom of “sportswashing” by using sport to clean up its international reputation. Former pros including John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert have previously criticised reports that official tennis tournaments could be staged in Saudi Arabia.

But Alcaraz has backed Nadal’s decision to help promote tennis in the nation, claiming that it wasn’t a “bad” move.  “I haven’t heard much criticism, I have heard people say that they have criticised him,” the world No. 2 said.

“Rafa has decided to sign as an ambassador and it doesn’t seem bad to me. He has signed as an ambassador of tennis in a country that is developing and opening up to world of sport. Who better than Rafa to promote tennis in places where perhaps it was never played before.”

The two-time Grand Slam champion also voiced his support for seeing more events being held in Saudi Arabia. He continued: “It is good for tennis that there are more venues, that there are more and more countries where we can play.

“Saudi Arabia is evolving very quickly in every sense, as a country and in the world of sport. They are betting on football, boxing, now a lot of tennis. I don’t know how far they will go in the world of tennis.”

Similar Articles


Most Popular