ATP ‘sparks bidding war from oil-rich states’ as new 10th Masters event to be added | Tennis | Sport

The ATP have reportedly opened up a bidding war for a tenth Masters 1000 event. Saudi Arabia previously tabled a lucrative offer to host the competition, though they will now face competition from other wealthy states.

ATP boss Andrea Gaudenzi has spoken previously about his desire to grow tennis in Saudi, with the financial benefits for the sport being irresistible as well as the prospect of developing the nation’s love for the sport.

The Italian revealed in Indian Wells that Saudi Arabia had submitted a bid to host an event across the men’s and women’s tours, which was reportedly worth a total of £1billion ($1.3bn). However, there is every chance that the Middle Eastern nation is now outbid.

According to The Telegraph, the ATP have decided to open up the bidding for the tenth Masters 1000 event, which is expected to attract interest from other oil-rich states who are keen to develop the sport in their respective countries.

A ‘bidding war’ is therefore expected to be sparked between Dubai, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia for the competition. Tennis Australia have also been offered the chance to increase their schedule by tabling an offer to host the event, though they are expected to turn down the opportunity.

The ATP have now spoken out on the decision, insisting that they believe they are acting in the best interests of the industry by ‘unifying’ the sport. Their statement read: “We have consistently called for more collaboration in tennis, advocating for a shared governance structure, with fair representation for the players, and a centralised commercial strategy across tennis.

“Our roadmap includes the potential creation of a tenth ATP Masters 1000 tournament. An official bid process is currently underway.” With the bidding war now open, Saudi’s initial offer is expected to be withdrawn so that they can monitor the offers on the table from elsewhere before tabling a fresh bid of their own.

Countries weighing up whether they are keen to host the Masters 1000 event have not been afforded significant deliberation time, with the ATP hoping that all offers are on the table so that discussions can be held during the Madrid Masters in five weeks’ time.

The scheduling of the event is also expected to be a key talking point in negotiations as Tennis Australia will be keen to ensure that their tournaments – such as the United Cup – are not impacted by the introduction of the new plan.

Source link