Tennis Popularity Grows in Kazakhstan

ASTANA – Almost all regional centres in Kazakhstan currently have their own tennis complexes built to international standards. In the first half of December, Aktau and Kostanai launched recently-built centres; now, only Petropavlovsk is among the large metropolitan areas waiting for a new sports facility. According to Kazakhstan Tennis Federation Executive Director Dias Doskarayev, tennis is quickly gaining in popularity, reported inform.kz.

“The second phase of construction of the tennis centres is planned for the future, especially in major cities. Today, there is a shortage due to the fact that the amount of people engaged in tennis is growing rapidly. For example, Almaty city already has a shortage of both indoor and outdoor courts. With the infrastructure available now, we will certainly develop. In some regions, there are waiting lists for parents to sign their children for tennis, but there are no places,” he said.

Summing up the results of 2015, Doskarayev noted the federation accomplished all the activities planned for the year. He added the strategy of attracting foreign experts will continue in 2016.

“We are in the process of an experience exchange. … We give it high marks. We have managed to increase the number of certified professional coaches from 87 to 200 over the past four years. It was not easy, because the greater the number of courts, the more people are engaged in tennis, not only as amateurs, but also on a professional level,” he said.

Another focus in 2016 will be on the development of youth tennis.

“We understand that children’s tennis is the foundation of our future. Our leading tennis players of the Fed Cup, of the national team, of the Davis Cup should have a reserve team, the second team, third team. A great job is being done, so in the future we will have the opportunity to select the best tennis players for teams that will play after our leading tennis players finish their careers,” he said.

Tennis was introduced in Kazakhstan in 1933, when it was included in the Dynamo society contest programme in Almaty. Two years later, the first tennis school was opened and first official competitions held in the city. By 1937, Almaty had 12 courts.

Today, Kazakh players show good results in many international competitions, including the Davis Cup, Fed Cup and Hopman Cup, as well as ATP, WTA and ITF tournaments.