CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. –Virginia men’s tennis senior Ammar Alhaqbani (Alexandria, Va.) will be playing in a showcase exhibition match as part of this week’s $3 million Diriyah Tennis Cup presented by Saudi Aramco, taking place between December 12-14 at the 15,000-seater Diriyah Arena in Riyadh.
Held on the outskirts of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the three-day Diriyah Cup tournament will welcome eight leading ATP players: No. 5 Daniil Medvedev, No. 10 Gael Monfils, No. 11 David Goffin, No. 12 Fabio Fognini, No. 16 Stan Wawrinka, No. 19 John Isner, No. 22 Lucas Pouille and No. 35 Jan-Lennard Struff. This is the first professional tennis tournament ever to be staged in Saudi Arabia.
Alhaqbani will be facing Saudi-born Michael Mmoh (USA) in a special exhibition match taking place on Saturday, December 14th at the Diriyah Arena ahead of the finals day of the Kingdom’s inaugural international tennis event.
Alhaqbani has been a member of Saudi Arabia’s Davis Cup since 2015 and has been a dominant figure in GCC regional tournaments for seven years. He was also the first Saudi Arabian player to win a gold medal in an international tennis competition. He boasts a 15-2 record in Davis Cup singles matches.
Mmoh, who has been ranked as high as No. 95 in the world ATP rankings, was born in Riyadh and lived in Saudi Arabia until the age of 13. He competes under the American flag.
“The Diriyah Tennis Cup presented by Saudi Aramco will have a significant impact on tennis in Saudi, especially for local tennis lovers and young talents who want to be professionals,” Alhaqbani said. “Watching closely as these big names compete at the Diriyah Arena will be a huge inspiration for them to work more and build their professional path in order to compete on the global stage in the future.”
The new competition will feature as part of the established Middle East Tennis swing, kick starting the new tennis season in style. The outdoor knockout tournament will be played on a state-of-the art newly installed hard court within the grounds of Diriyah, in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, providing an intimate setting allowing tennis fans and newcomers to the sport to get up and close to the world’s very best players.
As well as providing amazing sport, drama and entertainment, the Diriyah Tennis Cup aims to grow the sport of tennis in the Kingdom by inspiring new players, both young and old, to take up the game for the first time to keep healthy and active.