Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic set for Saudi Arabia men’s tennis exhibition during ATP season

Saudi Arabia will host a new elite tennis exhibition featuring Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal and three other Grand Slam winners in October.

The Six Kings Slam event will form part of the Saudi cultural and entertainment festival Riyadh Season.

Major winners Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev and Jannik Sinner will also line up, as well as Holger Rune.

The event will take place during the ATP season, which already has a full schedule that month.

Exhibition events are usually played during breaks in the ATP season or after it has finished but in October players are already due to be involved in Masters 1000 tournaments in Shanghai and Paris.

Spaniard Nadal, who signed up as an ambassador for the Saudi Arabian Tennis Federation last month, said he was looking forward to the event.

“After some other tennis players have done so, I am very excited to play for the first time in Riyadh,” the 22-time Grand Slam champion said.

Saudi Arabia already hosts the season-ending Next Gen ATP Finals for the leading men’s under-21 players in Jeddah and there has been extensive debate over the country potentially hosting the women’s WTA Finals.

Recently, tennis greats Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova wrote an opinion piece outlining their opposition to the women’s season-ending event being staged there.

Critics of Saudi Arabia have accused the oil-rich kingdom of using its wealth to invest in sports in a bid to improve its image – known as ‘sportswashing’.

It follows recent heavy investment in golf, Formula 1, football and boxing in particular.

Campaigning organisations remain critical of Saudi Arabia’s record on human rights and equality.

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