The Diriyah Tennis Cup presented by Aramco is assembling the best field to appear in Saudi Arabia to date, including four of the world’s top 10 in Stefanos Tsitsipas (4), Daniil Medvedev (7), Andrey Rublev (8), and Taylor Fritz (9).
It will be the first visit to Saudi Arabia for Tsitsipas, Rublev, and Fritz, who are part of Tennis‘ impressive younger generation coming through who all hope to emulate Medvedev’s success in the inaugural 2019 event at this year’s edition on December 8-10.
Fritz, who is 25 years old and the current number one American player, said ahead of his first trip to Saudi Arabia: “We’re always on the road, and typically, it’s the same places every year. So anytime we get to go to a new place, I’m always pretty excited. I’ve heard the event’s really nice; I’m excited to come and play against the best in the world and see how it is.
“I think it’s going to help (me) prepare for the Australian Open and for the rest of the year because I can start out by playing against the best players in the world. The field is so strong, so it’s always great to surround yourself with a lot of great players.”
Tsitsipas, the top-ranked Greek of all time, added: “I’m happy they’re introducing a big event like this, and in the heart of Saudi Arabia to give opportunities to citizens from all over the world to explore this beautiful country, through its sports, through its very rich heritage and culture, and through other activities that are available within the country.”
The players will be looking to take advantage of the additional competitive matches against the world’s best ahead of the 2023 season kicking off in Australia. These four top-10 players will be joined by eight other of the world’s best tennis players, including Nick Kyrgios, Cameron Norrie, and Alexander Zverev.
“This is going to be very good preparation for me. Most players choose to have an off period from tennis but for me, it’s very important to get matches in before I travel to Australia.” The 24-year-old continued, “So having good competitors to compete against…this is the best preparation that I can have before starting the 2023 season.”
Hoping to also get his competitive edge from next week, the world number eight, Rublev, said: “I think it’s really great because sometimes when you finish the season and you have eight weeks of not playing tournaments and just working during off season, you start to feel a bit stressed or nervous because you can’t tell if you’re improving or not, so these kind of events help to check how your level is at the moment because you compete against other great players.
Tennis fans in Saudi Arabia are encouraged to experience the world-class play and electric energy first-hand. “I know that the people in Saudi Arabia may not have the opportunity to see tennis players like us very often. So, for sure, I’m going to give it my best. I’m going to have a good time.“ Tsitsipas, the highest ranked player in the field said.
On what fans can expect, Fritz, the big hitting American, added: “People should come to support because hopefully it’ll be a lot of good tennis. Hopefully they’ll be cheering for me to win. They can expect a lot of big hitting, big serving, and hopefully some nice shot-making.