Tensions fray as Australian Open chiefs hit back at mooted Saudi Arabia ATP 1000 as 'an attempt to violate an existing agreement'

ATP
Sunday, 05 May 2024 at 05:30
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Growing tension surrounds the Saudi Arabia Masters 1000 after Tennis Australia, organizers of the Australian Open, conveyed their stance to the ATP. According to reports from The Athletic, Craig Tiley and Jayne Hrdlicka threatened legal action for breach of an existing contract.
Tennis Australia emphasized the agreement it has with the ATP and WTA to host the United Cup for the next five years at the beginning of the calendar. The international mixed-team tournament awards points to players and has been played since 2023 as a prelude to the Australian Open.

The ATP denies the organization of a tenth Masters 1000

Hosting a Masters 1000 before the Australian Open would disincentivize players from participating in the United Cup, as it would involve additional travel for players who might opt out of the mixed tournament in search of higher prize money.
The ATP recently, in a press release, officially denied that an ATP Masters 1000 would be held in Saudi Arabia, at least for the time being: "We are aware of media reports that a decision has been made regarding the tenth ATP Masters 1000 tournament. We would like to clarify that this news is not true. No decisions have been made and any updates will be communicated at the appropriate time."
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Australia hosts the United Cup, three ATP 250 tournaments, and the Australian Open over four weeks at the beginning of the season.
According to The Athletic, Tennis Australia, through its CEO Jayne Hrdlicka and the director of the Aussie Open Craig Tiley, wrote to the ATP threatening legal action for allegedly breaking an existing contract between the entities.
"Tennis Australia has an agreement with the ATP and WTA for the United Cup, in the first week, until 2029, with options to extend. The players appreciate the event, as well as our organisation. We do not enter into agreements lightly and we do not take lightly an attempt to violate an existing agreement," Tennis Australia would have communicated, according to The Athletic.

We are aware of reports in the media claiming that a decision has been reached concerning a 10th ATP Masters 1000 tournament. We would like to clarify that these reports are inaccurate. No decisions have been made and any updates will be communicated at the appropriate time.

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