Andy Murray turned down seven-figure fee to play exhibition matches in Saudi Arabia, says his agent | Tennis News

Matt Gentry, Murray’s agent, says the three-time Grand Slam champion turned down the opportunity to play in Riyadh. “If he feels strongly about something regardless, he’s at a point where he’s going to be happy with it and he’s going to have that discussion with people.”

Last update: 14/1/22 10:05 PM


Andy Murray is currently preparing for the Australian Open

Andy Murray’s agent has revealed he refused a seven-figure attendance fee to play an exhibition match in Saudi Arabia due to concerns about the country’s human rights record.

Saudi Arabia has hosted several major sporting events in recent years, including boxing, golf, Formula 1, and the Spanish Football Super Cup this week, while the country’s Public Investment Fund recently acquired Premier League team Newcastle.

Saudi Arabia has been accused of trying to use “sports washing” to distract attention from its human rights record and improve the country’s global reputation.

Matt Gentry, Murray’s agent, says the three-time Grand Slam champion turned down the opportunity to play in Riyadh, with payments of up to £1.5m being offered to top tennis stars.

“He turned down things in Saudi Arabia and I don’t think he would play there just because of what happened,” Gentry told the SportUnlocked podcast.

Matt Gentry, Murray's agent, says the Briton turned down the opportunity to play in Saudi Arabia

Matt Gentry, Murray’s agent, says the Briton turned down the opportunity to play in Saudi Arabia

“If he feels strongly about something regardless, he’s at a point where he’s going to be happy with it and he’s going to have this discussion with people. I don’t think he’s afraid to express his opinion on that.”

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were scheduled to compete in an exhibition event in Saudi Arabia in 2018, but it was canceled due to the Spaniard’s injury. Roger Federer had already turned down an offer to participate.

“The fair matches, they’ve done some over the years where they’ve paid huge sums of money to get players to come, he just wasn’t interested,” Gentry said from Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open.

“If you were the former No. 1 player in the world in the Middle East, you could potentially earn $1 million and $2 million for an exhibition match…this is for the top players, the big global names.”

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