The ATP has set off a bidding war among Gulf states awash in oil money, with the men’s sanctioning body expecting millions to roll in by the time a deal is done.

Tour boss Andrea Gaudenzi has made little secret of his devotion to the Saudi case as the kingdom elbows its way into the sport using the battering ram of unlimited funds.

ATP Boss Andrea Gaudenzi

But a new wrinkle has been inserted into the contest, with oil states including emirates Dubai and Abu Dhabi along with Qatar now aiming to land the 10th Masters 1000 on offer.

The Saudis have an inside edge as hosts of the Under-21 nextGen event in November.

London’s Telegraph said the kingdom has offered USD 1.3 billion for an ATP-WTA combined Masters event – but that might not be enough to get the financial job done as the bidding reached fever-pitch..

“Our roadmap includes the potential creation of a tenth ATP Masters 1000 tournament. An official bid process is currently underway,” the ATP said.

Discussion on the candidates are expected to be held in a month during the Madrid Masters.