Month: January 2024

Kazakh Juniors Enjoy Success at Tennis Tournaments in Australia

ASTANA, Kazakhstan, Jan. 29, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Amir Omarkhanov, a 16-year-old tennis player from Kazakhstan, made history during his debut at the Australian Open Junior Championships. Omarkhanov, No. 27 in the ITF Junior rankings, became the first Kazakh junior player ever to reach the tournament’s quarterfinals.

In the first round, Amir sensationally defeated the tournament’s top-seeded player. However, due to a muscle strain, he couldn’t play at his best in the quarterfinals, and lost to a strong opponent.

After the match, Omarkhanov expressed gratitude to the fans, the President of the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation, Bulat Utemuratov, and his team for their unwavering support.

In another junior tournament held in Australia, the Asia-Pacific Elite 14U Trophy, Kazakhstan’s Eva Korysheva reached the girls’ final. Eva won all her group matches and secured a straight-set victory against an Australian player, whom she faced again in the finals. It was a highly intense and emotional match where luck ultimately favoured her opponent.

Another talented Kazakh player, Asylzhan Arystanbekova, reached the quarterfinals of the junior doubles tournament.

These victories mark significant milestones for young Kazakh players on their journey towards achieving even greater success on the international stage.

Their success on the global tennis stage is no coincidence. Since 2007, the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation led by Bulat Utemuratov has built 41 modern tennis centres, increasing the number of courts in the country sixfold to 364. The number of children participating in tennis reached 30,000 last year, with 3,500 of the most talented young players being granted the opportunity to train free of charge, along with access to tennis equipment and tournament support.

The Federation also runs a targeted programme that offers financial support to more than 100 young players aged 11–14 from across Kazakhstan. Another integral component of the junior development system is the Team Kazakhstan Academy, established in 2008 for promising juniors aged 14 and older. More than 300 of the country’s most talented young players have already received training at the Academy.



ALMATY, Kazakhstan, Jan. 26, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Narxoz University, a preeminent private university in Almaty in the Republic of Kazakhstan, has entered into a historic Institutional Partnership and Double Degree Agreement with Queen’s University Belfast, a prestigious Russell Group UK university.

Narxoz University

Photo Credit: Narxoz University

The agreement provides Narxoz students with the opportunity to study joint programs from Queen’s Business School and Narxoz School of Economics and Management in English. As part of the Double Degree program, Narxoz students can receive a degree (BSc Business Management, BSc Business Economics or BSc Finance) from Queen’s, a degree (Bachelor of Business Administration) from Narxoz University and the opportunity to undertake internships and employment with British companies.

Signed with the participation of Sayasat Nurbek, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and Lord Malcolm Offord, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for Exports of the United Kingdom, the agreement will further educational and scientific cooperation between the two countries.

Narxoz University has an extensive history of cooperating with British universities through joint degrees, summer schools and research. Several grant research projects were conducted in cooperation with the University of Birmingham.

Miras Daulenov, President of Narxoz University commented: “This agreement opens a new chapter for Narxoz and higher education in Kazakhstan. Narxoz has become the first university in Kazakhstan and Central Asia to form an institutional partnership with Queen’s University Belfast. The 24 Russell Group universities provide students with the best educational and research programs, and their graduates with leading international career opportunities in the private and public sectors.”

Professor M.N. Ravishankar, Dean, Queen’s Business School, Queen’s University Belfast commented: “Queen’s Business School looks forward to partnering with Narxoz University and building valuable relationships in Kazakhstan. We are a welcoming community at Queen’s, and Narxoz students will get an enriching educational and cultural experience in Northern Ireland. This Narxoz-Queen’s partnership will help both institutions nurture principled and effective leaders ready to take on the big global challenges of our times.”


ITF VP and Kazakh tennis President, Bulat Utemuratov, discusses Kazakh tennis growth

Photo Credit: Kazakhstan Tennis Federation

“I am pleased to see the number of children with tennis backpacks and rackets on their backs increasing every day in the streets of our cities. The fact that tennis courts in every region of the country are now at maximum capacity, and we have a large queue of people wanting to play tennis, gives me confidence that we are moving in the right direction.”

“Together with regional authorities, we are trying to maintain this momentum and ensure a further increase in the number of children playing tennis through the construction of new tennis centers, as well as opening of tennis sections in kindergartens, schools and universities.”

With these words, President of the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation Bulat Utemuratov, in an interview he kindly granted to Tennis World USA, detailed the constant growth of tennis in Kazakhstan.

Thanks to major targeted and sustainable investments over the years, tennis in Kazakhstan has seen significant recent growth, demonstrated by the successes achieved on and off the court. Elena Rybakina’s decision to represent Kazakhstan is not the only success. The work carried out by the Tennis Federation has yielded the desired results, making tennis in the country a model for others to follow.

“The availability of infrastructure, coupled with a well-established training system for juniors and professional players, allows us to ensure the sustainability of our tennis ecosystem and demonstrate the consistently good performance of Kazakhstani tennis players, which is one of the key goals of our work,” explained Bulat Utemuratov.

ATP 500 Astana Open finalists – Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsisipas | Photo Credit: Kazakhstan Tennis Federation

According to statistics, over the last 16 years the number of tennis players in the country has increased exponentially, with the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation going to great lengths to provide players with the necessary infrastructure, courts and facilities.

“My main goal was to create modern and accessible tennis infrastructure in all 17 regions of the country. It was also necessary to lay the foundations for the right training processes and to organize international tournaments. Since 2007 we have built 38 tennis centers with 364 courts. Therefore, we have provided talent from all over Kazakhstan with the opportunity to show their worth on the court, and we have also increased competition among players, which contributes to the constant improvement of players’ skills”, said Utemuratov.

Another point to note is that due to the cold winter climate in Kazakhstan more than half of the courts are indoors. This significantly increases their costs and makes tennis less attractive to investors.

Bulat Utemuratov invested his personal funds in the construction of tennis facilities to achieve financial sustainability of these projects and make them more attractive to investors. Despite the state’s active involvement in construction in recent years, he plans to continue to build centers, as the demand for tennis lessons is growing at a very rapid pace and the Tennis Federation receives many requests from parents asking for new facilities. 

Kazakhstan Women’s Team | Photo Credit: Kazakhstan Tennis Federation

Today, in Kazakhstan, as Utemuratov explains, there are 3,500 children who train professionally and more than 35,000 who regularly attend tennis training.

“Our goal for the next 5 years is to increase these numbers by at least 3 times through the active introduction of baby tennis (for children aged 3 to 5 years), increasing the number of nurseries, schools and universities with a training program on tennis, as well as through the construction of new tennis centers. A key element of these ambitious plans is the mass training of tennis instructors and coaches, to which numerous educational programs implemented by the Tennis Federation are now dedicated,” explained the President of the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation.

With to the exponential growth of tennis, it has been possible to host ATP tournaments, a WTA tournament and ITF tournaments in Kazakhstan. Bulat Utemuratov explained how in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, Kazakhstan took a risk and organized the first ATP 250 tournament with a provisional ATP license. With only 6 weeks to organize it, the Federation did an incredible job. The experience accumulated – as the president says – from the Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup matches “Helped us to organize the tournament at a very high level.”

He also explained how in 2021 the Federation organized consecutive ATP 250 and WTA 250 tournaments. Furthermore, thanks to this success, the Federation managed to acquire a permanent ATP 250 license and in 2022, due to the cancellation of the Beijing tournament, it obtained a temporary upgrade to the ATP 500 category, attracting tennis players such as Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

“This year we fought for the right to permanently upgrade our license to level 500, but for logistical reasons Munich was given priority. Of course, we will continue to work to strengthen our calendar and include the WTA tournament, especially taking into account the successes of our women’s national team members Elena Rybakina, Anna Danilina and Yulia Putintseva,” he explained.

In December 2023 Utemuratov was re-elected as ITF Vice-President. 

We asked Utemuratov whether he is satisfied with the work done to ensure synergy in the performance of the ATP, WТА and ITF. “I am pleased with the emerging trend towards the ITF and ATP positions coming closer together. With the appointment of Andrea Gaudenzi to the ATP leadership, important agreements have been reached on cooperation in the Davis Cup, data sales (live-score) and other areas.

We must continue to work together to increase revenue levels in tennis and consolidate our asset management to compete with other sports in terms of spectators. In my opinion, this is well understood by the ITF, ATP and WTA, and we are now moving in the right direction in our relations, although there is still a lot to do to achieve the necessary level of synergy.”

Kazakhstan Junior Boys Team | Photo Credit: Kazakhstan Tennis Federation

Speaking of Elena Rybakina, President Bulat Utemuratov discussed Kazakhstan’s young tennis prospects who will be able to follow the example of the Wimbledon winner.

“At the moment we have some very promising young players in the under 18, under 16 and under 14 categories in whom we have great hope. Among the girls there are Asylzhan Arystanbekova, Sonya Zhienbaeva, Polina Sleptsova and among the boys Amir Omarkhanov, Daniyal Rakhmatullaev, Zangar Nurlanuly. They have all achieved victories over the top players in the world junior rankings and have great potential for development.”

And regarding young tennis players, Amir Omarkhanov reached the 2nd round of the Australian Open Junior tournament, beating the favorite of the match, the Italian Federico Chin, in the first round. The match lasted 1 hour and 37 minutes: the young Kazakh rising star winning in straight sets with the final score of 0-6 6-3 6-3.

The future of tennis, without Roger Federer, Serena Williams and the probable retirement of Rafael Nadal at the end of 2024, is a topic which is reaching its climax this year. Utemuratov analyzed how, understandably, the end of the careers of these tennis legends has left many fans worried about the future of tennis and how a new generation of players can replace them. But at the same time, many talented new players have emerged, such as Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner, Daniil Medvedev and Holger Rune among the men, and Elena Rybakina, Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff among the women.

“They all have excellent technical and physical skills, as well as a strong personality that attracts people and allows the tennis industry to not only maintain its existing fan base, but also attract a new generation of spectators and expand our target crowd. Furthermore, initiatives such as the ATP Next Gen Finals play an important role in promoting the next generation, as they allow young players to emerge faster and attract the attention of spectators and sponsors, which is necessary for the dynamic development of players,” he explained.


ATP approves relocation of ATP 250 tennis tournament from Astana to Almaty

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) has approved the relocation of the ATP 250 tennis series tournament from Astana to Almaty. In line with the calendar published on the ATP website, the Almaty Open will be held on October 13-20, 2024.

“Almaty deserves to take center stage by holding the ATP 250 series tournament, because this is the city where Kazakh tennis first began to develop. The Almaty Open not only promises to become a large-scale sporting event, but will also allow players and fans to enjoy atmosphere, energy and competitive spirit in the Almaty Arena, where the tournament will be held,” – said Bulat Utemuratov, President of the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation.

The ATP 250 series tournament is one of the few truly global sporting events, held in 30 countries around the world. The category includes 40 tournaments, with an ATP 250 victory giving a tennis player 250 points in the ATP rankings. The prize money for the upcoming ATP 250 Almaty Open will be more than $1 million.

The first annual ATP 250 series tournament was held in Astana in 2020. In 2022, the tournament was for one time upgraded to ATP 500. A truly stellar lineup of participants competed including Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, Carlos Alcaraz, Hubert Hurkacz, Andrey Rublev and others. Every year the Kazakhstan tournament is broadcast in more than 110 countries.


How Kazakhstan is making education more accessible

Formal schooling is not just a right and the foundation for every individual’s further training and career growth; it is also a key aspect of the social and economic development of every country. Its importance in the modern world cannot be overstated: a lack of access to formal education increases the risk of social problems such as poverty and unemployment.

Governments around the world are increasingly recognising the importance of quality primary education for the achievement of long-term sustainable development goals and the creation of just societies. Addressing education issues has become a strategic objective for many countries. State-led efforts alone are often not enough, however; the private sector’s involvement in finding solutions to these issues, on a pro bono basis, by sharing social responsibility, can be incredibly important. Kazakhstan can serve as an example of this approach.

Kazakhstan has adopted a number of reforms to improve the quality of its education system and is increasingly applying international standards and best practices. Significant efforts have been made in recent years to upgrade school infrastructure, but, despite these efforts, a number of problems remain unresolved.

A population explosion driven by a rising birth rate and rapid urbanisation led to two problems: a lack of secondary schools and a shortage of teaching staff. The government allocates significant funds every year for the construction and modernisation of schools. In addition, the authorities have started implementing the Comfortable Schools national project, which calls for the construction of 369 new schools; over the past three years, 626 schools have opened across the country.  

Nevertheless, the pace at which new schools are opening is not keeping up with demographic and migration processes, especially in large cities. According to official data, the country has 270,000 more pupils than places for them in its schools.

In recent years, Kazakhstani businesses have been getting involved, including on a pro bono basis, in resolving problems of educational infrastructure and improving the quality of education in the country. With state support for private businesses that invest in education, the number of private schools in the country has increased over the past two years, and 558 private schools in Kazakhstan are financed through government contracts.

It is important to note, however, that businesses in Kazakhstan are investing heavily not only through public–private partnerships but also on a philanthropic basis, where schools are being built using private capital and then handed over to the state free of charge. This type of public–private arrangement made it possible to build a school in the fast-growing city of Kosshy, on the outskirts of Astana, in a year, providing a solution to the city’s education problem, whereby schools were operating three shifts a day.

The local government sought the assistance of ‘Bulat Utemuratov Foundation’, to build a school for the city.

A fully equipped three-storey school in Kosshy for 1,500 pupils was built by the Foundation in a year and then handed over to the state at no cost. The school, which now has 3,000 pupils attending classes in two shifts, opened on September 1st this year. It is the first school in Kazakhstan to meet the standards outlined in the Comfortable Schools national project. In addition to physics, chemistry and biology laboratories, the school also features workshops, computer classes and specialised furniture like transformer desks that can be adjusted based on the size of each pupil. The school building itself has been adapted for children with special needs. The new school has enabled the city to fully resolve its problem of three-shift education.    

Bulat Utemuratov Foundation has started building two more schools in the Almaty region, each of which will cost $17.5 million. They will also be turned over to the state at no cost. The value and importance of formal schooling, which is an investment in the country’s future, is a priority for the Foundation.

At the same time, when it comes to developing education in Kazakhstan, the private sector is doing more than just building schools; businesses are also covering the costs involved in incorporating new educational programmes, including from other countries.  

Examples of such initiatives include the Haileybury schools (British private schools) in the cities of Almaty and Astana, which are social responsibility projects run by Kazakh businesspeople and philanthropists. Both of these schools are non-profit organisations, and the funds contributed are reinvested in development and scholarship programmes for gifted children. Children are given an opportunity to study tuition-free in highly qualified international A Level and International Baccalaureate programmes. Many Haileybury graduates have gone on to study at prestigious universities abroad.  

Philanthropic programmes in Kazakhstan are providing support for training personnel and improving the quality of
education for schoolchildren | Photo Credit: Bulat Utemuratov Foundation

There are a number of other philanthropic programmes in the country that are providing support for training personnel and improving the quality of education for schoolchildren. Notably, the Jas Leader Akademiiasy programme, implemented by Bulat Utemuratov Foundation, supports and develops leadership qualities among schoolchildren; it is the first initiative of its kind in Kazakhstan involving the widespread, systematic incorporation of leadership development classes for schoolchildren in grades 5–11. And greenhouses have been installed at 36 public schools as part of the Green School project. The project’s creators explain that lessons taking place in greenhouses supplement the school curriculum with practical classes and are a good opportunity for teachers to conduct interesting elective lessons.    

It is important to keep in mind that the state should play a leading role in improving the education system by investing heavily in the construction of new schools and the training of teachers. The private sector cannot replace the state in finding solutions to the problems facing socially important sectors such as education, but private investment provides essential support, as it helps resolve urgent problems such as the lack of educational institutions and overcrowding in schools, and the example of Kazakhstan is proof of this.


Yuriy Polskiy: Development of the Asian region will contribute to Kazakhstan’s progress

On December 12, 2023, the Vice-President of the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation, Yuriy Polskiy, was elected President of the Asian Tennis Federation (ATF). The new ATF head spoke exclusively to

Photo Credit: Kazakhstan Tennis Federation (KTF)

Yuriy Polskiy was elected President of the ATF by a majority vote – 34 out of 55 – at the ATF Annual General Meeting in Bangkok. Prevailing over the three other candidates from Thailand, Japan, and Sri Lanka, Polskiy has taken the helm of the organization for a four-year term. He has also become Chairman of the ATF Board of Directors, where he had served as Vice-President for the past four years.

– How do you feel after winning the ATF presidential election?

– I am very happy that we have been able to prove that Kazakhstan’s success in tennis development can be used for Asia. This was the main objective of my election strategy. It is not just talk or some abstract plans, but real results. We had great support from the national federations of other countries who we worked with. Many people know us personally, they know Bulat Utemuratov and me. They know that we are always looking to help with developing the game of tennis.

Everyone understands that it is not a political agenda for us, it is not a matter of prestige or getting an honorary position, but a global task to develop tennis. We have big plans, and everyone understands that if we put our name and reputation on the line, these plans will be implemented. This, in fact, was the basis for our victory.

– What was the most important factor in winning the election?

– We proposed certain initiatives. Some of them were suggested by me, they have received the Board of Directors’ approval, and are already being implemented. Everyone understood that we could do and achieve much more for the Asian Tennis Federation, but we would need to have all the powers, i.e. to meet with other national federations, with the governments of the countries, because many tennis regions do not have sufficient financial support from their states. It means you need to prove the need for tennis, to propose new projects and assets that will contribute to its development.

In Asia, I was known by my performance in Kazakhstan, where we cooperated on the exchange of umpires, held a lot of joint training camps in Kazakhstan, and organized them abroad when our players traveled. People saw that our tennis players, including our juniors, were progressing.

Many people suggested the nomination of Bulat Utemuratov – who has established himself in his role as the President of Kazakhstan Tennis Federation – for the position of President of the Asian Tennis Federation. However, Mr. Utemuratov claimed that one must be personally deeply involved in such work, travel a lot, and engage proactively. And as you know, he also has a lot of responsibilities as the Vice-President of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). We discussed that with him and he suggested that I run, offering me his support, so it was a joint decision. I decided to take a leap, and in the end, we received support and we got a good result.

– What opportunities will your presidency bring for the development of tennis in Kazakhstan and Asia?

– The most important thing is to improve interaction between Asian nations, and establish Kazakhstan as an attractive place for players. We want Asia’s best players to come to us, compete with our players, because only through competition and practice our players can grow and develop. In this respect, my presidency provides us with very good opportunities. I think there are very strong synergies as Asia needs proactive nations that are ready to host events and to invest in players’ travel to various tournaments. Kazakhstan has always been happy to host events at any level. At the same time, it is a good opportunity for players from Asia to gain international experience. It turns out that we are ideally suited for each other – the development of the Asian region will contribute to the development of Kazakhstan.

As for the plans of the Asian Tennis Federation, we will focus on attracting sponsors and resuming the tournament that we had before – the Asian Open Championship for all age groups. It is attractive for  media, moreover, and we could draw wild cards (WC) for the Australian Open, there is a possibility of such collaboration. So we need to resume this project, which we haven’t done for the last six years.

I have good relationships with the organizing committees of Grand Slam tournaments. We could hold «The Road to Wimbledon» and «Roland Garros Rendezvous» tournaments, which we had before. It will be an opportunity for our juniors to participate in the biggest tournaments, earn their first points and, most importantly, gain more experience.

– Could you please tell us more about the Asian Open Tennis Championship.

– This will be an annual two-stage tournament. At the first qualification stage all Asian nations have the right to put forward two boys and two girls. Thus, the whole continent is involved in this process, thereby maximizing coverage. The second stage is the final stage, where the top ranked Asian players get together with those who have qualified in the first stage. In this way, we give the best players in Asia the opportunity to play and compete together. We provide the prize money at the expense of the participating countries. Traditionally, such events get a good media coverage, television broadcasts, and they are attractive for sponsors who are willing to invest in the development of the Asian Tennis Federation.

The next meeting of the ATF Board of Directors will be held in January in Melbourne during the Australian Open. We will discuss the format of the tournament, which should be approved in the next one or two months. We intend to hold it in 2024, maybe in the autumn. We envisage the tournament will be held in different countries, with five to six countries participating as main organizers. We want to create a pool of the most involved nations which will make an annual contribution and alternately hold this tournament, ensuring the event is always held at a high level.

– Will Kazakhstan succeed in raising a world-class star like Elena Rybakina and Alexander Bublik? Rybakina and Bublik became successful playing in Kazakhstan, but would it be possible to avoid naturalization of players in the future?

– This year, Beibit Zhukayev made a big breakthrough – he moved up in the world ranking and became the No. 2 player in Kazakhstan. Of course, we have high expectations for him. Beibit, as the trainee of the Aktau school of tennis, has a very strong serve, stable forehand and backhand strokes. He moves well on the court. With his current level of play he has already beaten several players in the ATP TOP 100, which is a good indicator. I am sure that next year Zhukayev will help our national team in the Davis Cup and will continue to progress.

Speaking about the younger generation, Amir Omarkhanov is developing rapidly. Together with Zangar Nurlanuly, they achieved very good results at the Junior Davis Cup. Omarkhanov won all his matches, and defeated the best players from Spain and Italy. These successes give us hope and show that we have a good «reserve team of players». We, in turn, will help them to achieve their potential, while they have every chance to be the best in the world. The most important thing is that they develop consistently, do not lose momentum, and avoid injuries.

Among the girls we have Zhibek Kulambayeva, who is consistently playing for the national team. Of course, she is more into «doubles» play, but she has great potential in singles as well. Now we are trying to help her with the technical part, and she also needs to build up some competition experience. Zhibek has a good track record, and she defeated several strong opponents.

We also have very strong female junior players, such as Polina Sleptsova, Inkar Dyussebay and Anastassiya Krymkova. This year for, the first time, they reached the final of the Junior Billie Jean King Cup. Our girls played well at the tournament and got ranked in the top 10 countries in the world. And they are born and bred in Kazakhstan, they are all trainees of our school of tennis. Now they must try to maintain this momentum and continue playing at a very high level.

– Now there is a lot of talk about the transition of Russian Alexander Shevchenko to play for Kazakhstan. Will he play for us?

– Shevchenko has indeed long wished to play for Kazakhstan. He approached us with a proposal to play for our country. Alexander has long been training independently in Slovakia. He knows many of our players, understands how good our system is. He is aware of the special attention we pay to each member of the team and wants to be part of this team. Almost all the formalities have been finalized, and Alexander has applied for a Kazakh passport. Soon, he should be able to officially put the flag of Kazakhstan by his name in the ATP. However, he will only be able to play for our national team in the Davis Cup two years after gaining citizenship – this is common practice and regulation from the ITF.

– The Tennis Academy of Kazakhstan has existed since 2008. How can one get there, who can train there, and what is the selection system?

– It is quite easy to get into the Academy if you fulfill a number of conditions. They are very transparent. All the information is available on our official website, there are criteria that are required to get into the Academy. There are several options. We watch all the talented juniors, starting from the age of 12, we try not to miss anyone. Players are divided into «gold», «silver» and «bronze» level – these are promising young players who win tournaments or show good results, beating strong opponents, or play well at the Kazakhstan Cup 12&U or 14&U.

The Academy is in Astana. There are strong tennis centers in Almaty, Shymkent, Karaganda and Aktobe, which provide free courts, and coaches employed by KTF. We also offer an opportunity for players to stay in their hometowns, train with their own coaches, without a break from their families and school, so that there is no additional stress for them. They do not have to move to Astana. We provide financial assistance and facilitate the training process in their hometowns.

– Is training in the Academy provided for free?

– We have two formats – full funding and partial funding. If player shows consistently high results and fulfills the set goals, then we fully cover all expenses for training and travel. There are also players who are a little bit below the level and sometimes do not meet all of the requirements. We provide them with partial funding to motivate them to progress and meet our level. If players improve their performance and start fulfilling the requirements, we offer them a full funding.

– There is a new tournament in the ATP calendar for the 2024 season – the Almaty Open. Could you please tell us more about holding an ATP250 in Almaty?

– Almaty has long earned the right to host such a major tournament. We realize how powerful the Almaty fan base is as tennis is traditionally more popular there. Therefore, we consciously decided to move ATP 250 from Astana to Almaty to stimulate the development of the tournament, to give an additional impetus to the development of tennis in the city – especially since Almaty is an attractive «tourist site». In general, we decided to use the multiplier effect. Plus, Almaty has good sports facilities – the Almaty Arena – which we plan to adapt as much as possible to the needs of the tournament. There is great potential for growth: we can hold matches for up to seven thousand spectators, and in future, for 10 to 12 thousand. We want to create an atmosphere with full stands, which is liked by the players and encourages them to play their best tennis.


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