Tennis stars Fabio Fognini, Gael Monfils, Daniil Medvedev, and David Goffin made it through the semi-finals of the inaugural Diriyah Tennis Cup currently being played in the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh.
The Diriyah Tennis Cup, sponsored by Saudi Aramco, kicked off on Thursday as part of the “Diriyah Season” program, one of the Kingdom’s initiatives to develop the entertainment and sports sector is in line with Vision 2030.
The tournament made further Tennis history as it became the first to use Hawk-Eye Live technology, which replaces the need for line judges and sends visual and audio cues to the chair umpire and off-court monitors within a tenth of a second of a ball bouncing.
“I won the first game of the competition, it’s nice. It’s something I will remember for sure and the people will remember as it is the first year we play here. I know they want to do something more [grassroots tennis], especially to improve tennis in this country so I’m happy,” Fabio Fognini said in a press release after defeating big-serving American John Isner 7-6 6-4.
Meanwhile, Swiss Stan Wawrinka lost 6-3 6-3 to Frenchman Monfils, Medvedev of Russia defeated Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 6-1 while Belgian’s David Goffin rallied to defeat Lucas Pouille of France 6-2 6-4 in the final match of the night.
Other events featured in Diriyah Season include the Diriyah Equestrian Festival, the “Clash on the Dunes” boxing match between heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and Brian Ruiz Jr, and the Diriyah E-Prix 2019, the equivalent of Formula One for electric cars.