PIF Saudi International to Debut at Riyadh Golf Club in December 

The Riyadh Golf Club is preparing to host the Saudi International golf tournament, presented by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) with a total prize pool of US$5 million. (Riyadh Golf Club)
The Riyadh Golf Club is preparing to host the Saudi International golf tournament, presented by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) with a total prize pool of US$5 million. (Riyadh Golf Club)
TT

PIF Saudi International to Debut at Riyadh Golf Club in December 

The Riyadh Golf Club is preparing to host the Saudi International golf tournament, presented by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) with a total prize pool of US$5 million. (Riyadh Golf Club)
The Riyadh Golf Club is preparing to host the Saudi International golf tournament, presented by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) with a total prize pool of US$5 million. (Riyadh Golf Club)

The Riyadh Golf Club is preparing to host the Saudi International golf tournament, presented by the Public Investment Fund (PIF) with a total prize pool of US$5 million.

The championship will take place December 4 to 7, marking the season finale for both the Asian Tour and the International Series, reported the Saudi Press Agency on Monday.

The first names to be confirmed in the December event include defending champion Abraham Ancer alongside 2022 champion Harold Varner III, 2021 and 2019 winner Dustin Johnson, and Cameron Smith, the winner of the 2022 Open Championship.

The players will compete for the prestigious first prize of US$1 million, which is considered the most coveted prize on the Asian Tour.

Golf Saudi chief executive Noah Alireza expressed his delight with the hosting of this prestigious event at the Riyadh Golf Club.

He underscored that the tournament, being the finale for the Asian Tour and the International Series, further boosts its importance and growth with each edition.

Asia Tour commissioner and chief executive Cho Minn Thant said that this new date places the championship at the pinnacle of the season. He expressed his belief that the Riyadh Golf Club will provide an exceptional stage to showcase the championship.

He added that with much at stake, the tournament is expected to deliver a dramatic and captivating finale for the 2024 season.

Established in 2005, the Riyadh Golf Club is considered one of the best golf courses in the capital. The championship course features a challenging 72-par layout, stretching over 7,434 yards of undulating fairways.

The club previously hosted numerous Saudi tournaments, including the Saudi Open, the Aramco Team Series, and the Aramco Saudi Ladies International.



Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic Will Meet in the Wimbledon Men’s Final Again

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates winning against Russia's Daniil Medvedev during their men's singles semi-final tennis match on the twelfth day of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 12, 2024. (AFP)
Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates winning against Russia's Daniil Medvedev during their men's singles semi-final tennis match on the twelfth day of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 12, 2024. (AFP)
TT

Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic Will Meet in the Wimbledon Men’s Final Again

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates winning against Russia's Daniil Medvedev during their men's singles semi-final tennis match on the twelfth day of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 12, 2024. (AFP)
Spain's Carlos Alcaraz celebrates winning against Russia's Daniil Medvedev during their men's singles semi-final tennis match on the twelfth day of the 2024 Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on July 12, 2024. (AFP)

Carlos Alcaraz is only a couple of months past his 21th birthday, and yet this whole Grand Slam success thing is already a bit been-there, done-that for him.

Moving a step closer to a second consecutive Wimbledon trophy and fourth major championship overall, Alcaraz overcame a shaky start Friday to beat Daniil Medvedev 6-7 (1), 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the semifinals at Centre Court.

"I feel like I’m not new anymore. I feel like I know how I’m going to feel before the final. I’ve been in this position before," Alcaraz said. "I will try to do the things that I did well last year and try to be better."

Like last year, his opponent in Sunday's title match will be Novak Djokovic, who advanced with a 6-4, 7-6 (2), 6-4 victory against No. 25 seed Lorenzo Musetti. Djokovic won 15 of 16 points when he went to the net in the first set and finished 43 for 56 in that category.

It'll be the first time the same two men meet in consecutive Wimbledon finals since Djokovic beat Roger Federer in 2014 and 2015.

"He’s as complete a player as they come," Djokovic said about Alcaraz, who won the 2023 final in five sets. "It's going to take the best of my abilities on the court overall to beat him."

Djokovic, who hadn't reached a final at any tournament all season and needed surgery in June for a torn meniscus in his right knee, will be vying for his eighth championship at the All England Club. That would tie Federer’s mark for the most by a man — and put him one behind Martina Navratilova’s record of nine — while making the 37-year-old from Serbia the first player in tennis history with a career total of 25 Grand Slam titles.

"I know what I have to do," Alcaraz said. "I’m sure he knows what he has to do to beat me."

Late in Djokovic’s semifinal, as he let his first three match points slip away, fans hoping for a longer match began chanting "Lo-ren-zo!" One yelled out during a point, bothering Djokovic, who soon was wiping away fake tears mockingly after Musetti failed to convert a break chance in the last game.

The No. 2-seeded Djokovic — who got a walkover in the quarterfinals when his opponent, Alex de Minaur, withdrew with a hip injury — eventually worked his way into his 10th final at Wimbledon and 37th at a major.

"I don't want to stop here," Djokovic said. "Hopefully I'll get my hands on that trophy."

Musetti said it didn't look as if Djokovic was hampered at all by his knee, which was covered by a gray sleeve.

"He showed that he’s really in great shape, not only in tennis, but physically," said Musetti, who was appearing in a major semifinal for the first time.

After a so-so opening set against Medvedev, Alcaraz transformed back into the energetic, attacking, crowd-pleasing force who already was the first teenager to be No. 1 in the ATP rankings and is the youngest man to have won a major trophy on three surfaces: grass, clay and hard courts.

Now the Spaniard is one victory away from joining Boris Becker and Bjorn Borg as the only men in the Open era, which began in 1968, with multiple championships at the All England Club before turning 22.

Alcaraz also triumphed at the US Open in 2022 and the French Open last month and is 3-0 in major finals.

"We’re going to see a lot of him in the future, no doubt," Djokovic said. "He’s going to win many more Grand Slams."

On a cloudy afternoon, the No. 3-seeded Alcaraz went through some ups and downs against No. 5 Medvedev, a 28-year-old from Russia.

"I started really, really nervous," Alcaraz said. "He was dominating the match."

Indeed, Medvedev grabbed an early 5-2 lead, but then got into trouble with his play and his temper.

Alcaraz broke to get within 5-4 with a drop shot that chair umpire Eva Asderaki ruled — correctly, according to TV replays — bounced twice before Medvedev got his racket on the ball. He voiced his displeasure, and Asderaki, after climbing down from her seat to huddle with tournament referee Denise Parnell during the ensuing changeover, issued a warning to Medvedev for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"I said something in Russian. Not unpleasant, but not over the line," Medvedev said at his news conference.

He regrouped quickly and was just about perfect in that set’s tiebreaker.

Then it was Alcaraz’s turn to get headed in the right direction, which didn’t take long. He got the last break he would need for a 4-3 edge in the fourth when Medvedev sailed a backhand long, then sat in his sideline chair, locked eyes with his two coaches and started muttering and gesticulating.

"I was playing well," Medvedev said, "and just it was not enough."

Nearly every time Alcaraz emitted one of his "Uh-eh!" two-syllable grunts while unleashing a booming forehand, spectators audibly gasped, regardless of whether the point continued. Often enough, it didn’t: Alcaraz had 24 forehand winners, 20 more than Medvedev.

In addition to the Wimbledon men’s final, Sunday’s sports schedule features the final of the men’s soccer European Championship in Germany, where Spain will meet England.

When Alcaraz alluded to that in his on-court interview by saying, "It’s going to be a really good day for the Spanish people, as well," he drew boos from the locals — perhaps his biggest misstep all day.

Alcaraz smiled and added: "I didn’t say Spain is going to win. I just said that it’s going to be a really fun, fun day."