Djokovic v Nadal controversial $2m Saudi Arabia tennis clash is OFF

The two tennis stars were internationally criticised for accepting to play for $1m each in an exhibition match in Jeddah on December 22.

Their involvement in the King Salman Tennis Championships came under scrutiny following the murder of outspoken Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Istanbul embassy last month.

Nadal has since ended his 2018 season, withdrawing from the season-ending tennis tournament, the ATP World Tour finals at the O2 Arena, after undergoing career-saving ankle surgery.

The Spaniard hopes to be fit for the Australian Open in January and Djokovic, 31, confirmed there was no chance it would be switched to another date.

Asked if Nadal injury meant the Saudi Arabia exhibition event is not happening, Djokovic said: “It’s not happening.”


And asked to clarify if it’s because of the injury, he replied: “Yes.”

Swiss star Roger Federer had been contacted about playing a role but he refused to get involved.

The 37-year-old declined the offer, saying at the Paris Masters: “I prefer not to play. Because I don't want to play. It’s okay. I’m happy practicing.

“I’m happy doing other things, and I didn’t want to play there at that time. So, for me, it was a very quick decision.”

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