Stunning reports have emerged over the weekend that the ATP and WTA tour could face a damning fate with Saudi Arabia delving into a similar strategy to golf's LIV Tour to poach the main aspects of the tour and form a breakaway.
This next week, the Next Gen ATP Finals take place for the first time in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia with huge prize money for the next generation of tennis stars. But there are now renewed suggestions that a breakaway could occur with the Saudis having an even bigger role to play.
DRAW 2023 Next Gen ATP Finals as Arthur FILS and Luca VAN ASSCHE anchor Green and Red Groups
The ATP is rumoured to be weighing up the potential of playing a 10th ATP Masters 1000 tournament in Saudi Arabia, with multiple tournaments including Miami potentially under the axe to make way. It could take place in the run-up to the first Grand Slam of the year in the Australian Open leaving the usual warm-ups including mostly the United Cup under threat.
Already tennis takes place in the region during this time, with the World Tennis League and other exhibitions seeing players spend their Christmas in the country, but this would see the season only have less than a month off-season.
But as well as that, the breakaway tour as mooted by journalist, Jon Wertheim from the Tennis Channel has been suggested as having the four Grand Slams (Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open and Roland Garros) forming a new-look tour with 10 Masters tournaments including this extra tournament.
This would in turn render the ATP and WTA almost obsolete as both would just run smaller tournaments. It has already been mooted that despite issues on the views of those in Saudi Arabia that the WTA Finals could move to Saudi Arabia in a long term deal and after initial murmurings went quiet, it seems they are starting up again ahead of the 2024 season.