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Carlos Alcaraz Defends Rafael Nadal’s Saudi Arabia Deal Amid Criticism


Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz has come to the defense of his fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who recently secured a lucrative deal with the Saudi Tennis Federation. Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam champion, has faced backlash for his association with the Middle Eastern country, accused by many of engaging in ‘sportswashing


Alcaraz, currently ranked world No.2, expressed his support for Nadal’s decision, emphasizing the potential for tennis expansion in Saudi Arabia. He highlighted Nadal’s role as a tennis ambassador and the opportunity to introduce the sport to new audiences in developing region


The upcoming ‘Six Kings Slam’ event in Saudi Arabia will feature Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Alcaraz, and three other top players, with substantial appearance fees and prize money at stake. However, concerns have been raised regarding the country’s stance on LGBTQ+ rights, particularly how it may affect openly gay players like Daria Kasatkin


Former world No.1 Andy Roddick questioned the impact of hosting tennis events in Saudi Arabia on LGBTQ+ players and urged measures to protect athletes’ rights. WTA world No.1 Iga Swiatek acknowledged the challenges for women in the region but also recognized Saudi Arabia’s efforts to improve politically and sociologically


While the deal has stirred controversy, Alcaraz’s support underscores the complexities of navigating sports partnerships in regions with contentious political and social landscapes. As tennis continues to expand globally, discussions around inclusivity and human rights in host countries remain vital.

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