"We voiced our opinion, which I’m very proud of": Chris Evert reveals reason behind writing letter in opposition of WTA Finals move to Riyadh

Thursday, 27 June 2024 at 15:00
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Former world number one Chris Evert has revealed the reason behind writing opposing a move of WTA Finals to Saudi Arabia. The future of tennis as a sport has been under an intense spotlight after a move from the Middle Eastern country in the recent past.
Saud Arabia’s move was similar to what they have done in the past with other sports, such as golf and football, where they invested heavily on different levels. The oil-rich country has been accused by different quarters of the media of using sports as a tool to wash its human rights record, which has not been great.
Despite all the criticism, the WTA has decided to accept their proposal, and the WTA Finals is now set to be held in Riyadh for the next three years. One of the biggest names who was extremely critical of Saudi Arabia’s investment in tennis was former world number one Evert.
The 69-year-old, who is regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of women’s tennis in the singles category, having won as many as 18 Grand Slams in her illustrious career, event went on to write about how the players should think twice before agreeing to play in a Middle Eastern country because of their poor human rights record.
“That letter was basically just before you make your mind up, before you make that big decision, just do your research,” said Evert. “And talk to some human rights activists and people who have been over there and who know the laws of the land over there. We wrote the letter, we voiced our opinion, which I’m very proud of. That letter wasn’t in judgment of ‘If you go there…this is the kind of person you are.’ They’re the players and they’re the ones that have to live by their decision. And I hold no judgment. I accept it.”

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