Alexander Zverev accused of making himself ‘a puppet of oil sheikhs’ after signing up for Saudi Arabia event

German tennis star Alexander Zverev has come under fire after he signed up for the state-sponsored Diriyah Tennis Cup in Saudi Arabia. The tennis star was accused of becoming a puppet to the oil sheikhs of Saudi Arabia and facilitating the regime within the country. 

The German tennis star confirmed that he would be playing in the tournament after coming back from an injury. “I’m happy that I’ll finally be back on the court after my injury. It’s even nicer that I can make my comeback before the official start of the 2023 season,” Zverev said in a statement.

“I think the Diriyah Tennis Cup offers a very good opportunity for it and I’m looking forward to being in Saudi Arabia for the first time.”

Russian Daniil Medvedev will also be at the event for the second time after his inaugural appearance in 2019. The Russian said in his tournament preview: “When I have been in Diriyah in 2019, I loved everything there. The organization, the court, the fans, the people. Everything was super comfortable, so I’m really happy to have the opportunity to come back to Saudi Arabia in December.”

Saudi Arabia is blamed for sports-washing its reputation with sporting events to hide the atrocities of the totalitarian regime in the region. Journalists in Germany have defined Zverev’s appearance as problematic and unacceptable. 

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