History is written this week in Jeddah, where the first ATP Tour tournament in history held in Saudi Arabia takes place.
The best Under-21 players in the world have battled at the Next Gen ATP Finals presented by NEOM, where fans from all over Saudi Arabia have come to enjoy the spectacle at the King Abdullah Sports City.
Ahmed Aljefri has traveled to London, New York and Miami in the past to follow his favorite tennis players. With plans to attend Saturday’s semifinals with his family, he is excited to see live sport in Saudi Arabia.
“To have here is a dream come true,” said Aljefri, who cheered on Jordan’s Abdullah Shelbayh this week. “I’ve been a tennis fan for over 20 years, so it’s great to see the ATP Tour here. It’s positive that the tour has a presence in Saudi Arabia and it’s amazing to have it in my city.”
“A lot of people have been following tennis here for the last 15 years, so having a permanent tournament is great.”
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The Next Gen ATP Finals will take place in Jeddah until 2027 following a five-year agreement signed this season.
Another fan, Ahmed Alazzni, believes the sport has the potential to grow rapidly in Saudi Arabia.
“We entered the pavilion and followed the first match. It’s my first time watching tennis live and it was fantastic,” said Alazzni. “It’s the first tournament to be played in Saudi Arabia so it’s an incredible experience for me.”
“There are a lot of tennis fans here. We know all the players and we follow the sport. We love the Next Gen tennis players. We are looking forward to having more tournaments in the future in this country.”
Ahmed Alazzni [izquierda] with his friend Mohammed Bulushi [derecha]
Majdi Saber attends the tournament with his son and is delighted with the organization of the tournament.
“All the logistics are fantastic and we love it,” Saber said. “The tournament is very well run and the fans are having a great experience. The sport is expanding. Young people are getting used to the sport and coming to the event.”
Majdi Saber [izquierda] with his son [derecha]