|Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 28 August-10 September|
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Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur says she is “pushing for change” in Saudi Arabia and would use a WTA occasion held there as a chance to encourage different girls.
Saudi Arabia has held talks with the ladies’s tour about internet hosting its end-of-season Finals, BBC Sport understands.
However the potential of the WTA going to a nation the place girls face discrimination has been criticised.
“As an Arab participant, I would be very excited to be there,” stated Tunisia’s Jabeur, talking on the US Open in New York.
“I’m somebody pushing for a change, pushing to present an increasing number of alternatives particularly for ladies.”
Former world primary Martina Navratilova stated she wouldn’t go to compete in Saudi if she was nonetheless enjoying, having beforehand stated she was “heartbroken” that present gamers would go there.
Saudi Arabia has lengthy been criticised for points round human rights, together with a scarcity of girls’s rights, the criminalisation of homosexuality, the restriction of free speech and the usage of the dying penalty.
The nation has used its monetary energy to extend affect within the sporting world over current years, resulting in accusations of ‘sportswashing’ in an try to enhance its international repute.
Russian world quantity 13 Daria Kasatkina, who’s brazenly homosexual, has expressed her concern about enjoying in Saudi.
In June, the WTA chief govt Steve Simon stated the ladies’s tour “cannot stroll away from” the Saudi query, however there are nonetheless “tonnes of points” to be resolved.
It’s thought the WTA will think about over the following fortnight whether or not to carry the end-of-season Finals in Saudi.
“I do know in Saudi they’re altering issues they usually’re evolving,” stated world quantity 5 Jabeur.
“I have been there final 12 months to present a speech and interview there. It was very good assembly numerous superb girls there. For me, I used to be attempting to push to have tennis in Saudi.
“I believe it is an important step. I believe it is one thing that would assist the Arab world to have extra tennis gamers, to get extra concerned in sports activities.
“In the event that they play there, and hopefully if I qualify, will probably be an important honour and alternative for me to go and play there, particularly assembly numerous girls. They advised me they give the impression of being as much as me.
“That may be an important alternative for me to satisfy them and communicate to them.”