World Top Tennis Stars Visit Center for Autistic Children as ATP 500 Astana Open Tournament Kicks Off

ASTANA – The ATP 500 Astana Open hard court tournament started Oct. 3 in the capital with the nation’s favorite Beibit Zhukayev’s loss to the more experienced and higher-ranked Botic van de Zandschulp from the Netherlands 1-6, 1-6, reported the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation’s press service.

Left to Right: KTF President Bulat Utemuratov, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz at Asyl Miras center on Oct. 3 Photo credit: Kazakhstan Tennis Federation

Kazakhstan’s Grigoriy Lomakin and Denis Yevseyev lost to Ivan Dodig (Croatia) and Austin Krajicek (the United States) 3-6, 2-6 in men’s doubles.

The world’s top players, including Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz, Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, among other stars listed in the tournament.

On the tournament’s first day, tennis stars visited the Asyl Miras center for autistic children in Astana. They presented gifts to the children and, in turn, received paintings from them.

“What we accomplish in tennis is important, but it is also important…more than anything that these children get the opportunity to develop in a  positive way, and I am glad to see that for myself. Very inspiring,” said Auger-Aliassime.

Asyl Miras is one of the projects spearheaded by Kazakhstan Tennis Federation (KTF) President Bulat Utemuratov. Opened in 2015, the center assists children and their parents in 11 cities nationwide.

Medvedev and Auger-Aliassime played an exhibition match on Oct. 2 at Baiterek Monument, one of the capital’s main attractions. The players demonstrated a variety of strikes and techniques from their broad gaming arsenal and interacted with one another and fans.

Auger-Aliassime (left) and Medvedev (right) playing tennis by Baiterek monument on Oct. 2 Photo credit: Kazakhstan Tennis Federation

On Oct. 4, Greece’s Tsitsipas will meet Kazakhstan’s tennis player Mikhail Kukushkin. The country’s top seed Alexander Bublik will play against Tallon Griekspoor from the Netherlands. Andrey Golubev and Alexander Nedovesov will battle Adrian Mannarino and Fabrice Martin from France in doubles.

After two successful editions in 2020 and 2021, the Astana Open became a permanent ATP Tour member this season. In 2022, it will be staged as an ATP 500 event alongside the Rakuten Open in Tokyo. The tournament will run until Oct. 9.

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