Roger Federer has refused to play tennis match, which is to be planned on Dec. 22 in Saudi Arabia, due to growing International pressure on Saudia, following the killing of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. The match was planned one year ago and Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have committed to play in.
The Swiss star was asked why he turned it down. “I didn’t want to play there at that time,” the 20-time Grand Slam champion said. “So, for me, it was a very quick decision.”
Amnesty International has urged Nadal and Djokovic not to play. “Of course I’m aware of the situation. But I had a commitment since one year ago to play there. And my team is talking to them, to analyze the things. That’s it,” Nadal said when asked his position on Sunday. “It’s terrible that one journalist lost (his) life. I know something happened very bad inside there. So we are looking about how evolves the situation and I hope the things will clarify as soon as possible.”
Djokovic also made it clear and said “We have the commitment with them for over a year, actually last year when we were discussing this potential matchup,” he said. “It was my professional tennis decision to do that. Of course I know, I’m aware of what’s happening, and it’s sad, of course.”
The top-ranked Serb also stopped short of confirming his presence. “My team right now is in touch with the people in Saudi Arabia as well as Rafa’s and of course we are all talking to understand the situation better,” the 14-time Grand Slam champion said Sunday. “Because right now we just don’t have obviously enough information, and we have to look into that a bit more and then we’ll make our decision soon.” He added: “We have to get more information on what’s happening so we can make a rational decision whether it’s good to go or not.”
Turkey alleges a hit squad from Saudi Arabia travelled to Istanbul to kill the journalist and then tried to cover it up.
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26 May, 2019