Tennis News: Daria Kasatkina's security concerns and Daniil Medvedev's Illuminati

  • Kasatkina is iffy about going to Saudi Arabia
  • Medvedev has a question for a chair umpire

The WTA has decided to hold its year-end finals in Saudi Arabia in 2024 and likely moving forward. There is a lot of money involved and how could the WTA say "no" to what the Saudis were offering? (Yes, there is a hint of sarcasm there.) Due to what some organizations, including Amnesty International, see as humanitarian concerns in Saudi Arabia, some WTA players were not fans of traveling there for the WTA Finals.

One of these players was Daria Kasatkina. Kasatkina is not only concerned about her potential safety in Saudi Arabia as a woman, but she is also homosexual. The Russian is currently ranked No. 11 and still on the outside looking in as far as making the year-end finals, but she is at least in position to make a run. She might have skipped the finals if she did not feel safe, however.

Kasatkina also has some excitement about exposing the sport of tennis to Saudi women and young girls, too, she recently told the BBC. Maybe she feels that humanitarian changes need to be made in the country, but one way of doing that is to introduce new things. Women playing tennis at a high level that Saudi women can see live at the WTA Finals would be one of those new items, according to Kasatkina.

Daria Kasatkina feels safe and Daniil Medvedev wonders who is in charge

She told the BBC, "I’ve been given guarantees that I’m going to be fine...We see that the Saudis now are very into the sport, they want to develop the sport. And as long as it gives the opportunity to the people there, and the young kids and the women to actually see the sport - so that they can watch it, they can play it, they can participate in this, I think it’s great."

Another great bit is whenever ATP No. 4 Daniil Medvedev goes off-script in between points of a match. During his run at the Madrid Masters over the past week, Medvedev has had some issues with the lines calls and officiating, but during his match against Sebastian Korda the Russian had a question about why the roof was not being closed even though a light rain had started to fall.

Medvedev apparently thought at first that chair umpire Nacho Forcadell was in charge of whether the roof was open or not. Forcadell explained to Medvedev that he did not make roof decisions and said, "They take the decision based on the weather." To which Medvedev gave a classic Medvedev response, "Who 'they?' The Illuminati?"

Part of what made the moment humorous was that either Forcadell was not aware of what Medvedev said or he just rolled with it. Forcadell's reaction made it seem as if he was almost agreeing with Medvedev that the Illuminati had something to do with whether the roof was open or closed.

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