John Millman (Australia) - winner of the ATP 250 Astana Open
Author: Tennis Federation of Kazakhstan
The first ATP 250 Astana Open tournament in Kazakhstan's history ended today in Nur – Sultan. The Tournament Director, Atilla Richter, said during the award ceremony that the Association of Tennis Professionals hopes for long-term cooperation and notes the high level of preparation for the Kazakhstan tournament. He thanked the players for a great final. Richter stressed that this has been an incredible year in which the pandemic continues to affect people and force them to adapt to the situation.
The Tournament Director noted with regret that many tournaments were canceled or postponed, and unpredictability became a part of everyday life. He stressed that thanks to the bold decision of the ATP, 4 additional tournaments appeared in the calendar this year, including in Nur – Sultan.
- Many thanks to the Tennis Federation of Kazakhstan, and, first of all, to the President of the Federation, Bulat Utemuratov, who accepted this challenge and made it possible to hold the first, historic tournament for Kazakhstan.
Under your leadership, a huge leap in the development of Kazakhstan's tennis has taken place over the past decade. So this last week was the cherry on the cake. Thank you very much, Mr. President, for your dedication and support to tennis.
Thank you to the team and everyone who participated in the preparation of the event, which was organized over 6 weeks, and I really hope that everyone was satisfied.
Many thanks to all the players. It was a new tournament, no one knew what to expect. I am sure that many people had a difficult decision to come to the first ATP tournament in Nur-Sultan. I hope you were comfortable here.
Be healthy, I hope to see you again in Nur-Sultan next year! - said the tournament Director, Atilla Richter.
John Millman's victory in the Astana Open tournament brought his first ATP title and an additional 250 ranking points. The Australian thanked the opponent, the Tennis Federation of Kazakhstan and warmly spoke about everyone who prepared the tournament in a short time.
- This is the first ATP 250 I won. It's special, I did it in Nur-Sultan. Many thanks and congratulations to Adrian.
We have had some tough games. You're not easy to play with. Thank you for sharing the court with me.
Many thanks to all the organizers, linemen, supervisors, and employees. Many thanks to the sponsors and the President of the Tennis Federation of Kazakhstan for your incredible hospitality. In Australia, when the choice is obvious, we say "no brainer" . For me, this is quite obvious no brainer-the tournament should be included in the ATP schedule and held in Kazakhstan on a permanent basis. You've done the impossible in six weeks. It was one of the best ATP 250 indoor events I've ever participated in, " said the tournament's winner, John Millman.
John Millman confidently started the final match in the capital of Kazakhstan, whitewashing the first game on his serve. He forced the opponent to run from corner to corner, and Adrian Mannarino was forced to make mistakes, but when the score was “deuce” in the second game, he did not allow the opponent to reach the breakpoint.
Mannarino hit the lines thinly in the first set, but his strokes in long rallies, in which the Frenchman usually feels comfortable, occasionally failed. The opponents tried to load each other with balls under the backhand, and in the first game this brought John more problems.
The Australian continued to play tight strokes across the entire width of the court and tried not to let the opponent slow down the game, which earned him points. Breakpoints were first earned by Adrian Mannarino, but he did not realize any of the attempts to break the opponent's serve in this difficult game for both finalists.
Already on his next serve, John Millman, again presented the opponent two breakpoints, but after that he fought desperately for each ball, keeping the game for himself. Mannarino looked annoyed at the unrealized chance to take the lead, talking out loud to himself.
And at the beginning of the second game, the usually calm and balanced Mannarino no longer just talked, but screamed out of discontent, losing points. In contrast to this and, of course, not without the help of Millman's brilliant strokes the Frenchman almost lost his serve. At the same time, the excellent feeling of the court throughout the match helped him create extremely uncomfortable situations for John Millman.
In the third game, Mannarino made his first double in the match, threw the racket, once again got loudly indignant at something, and as a result, in the hardest struggle on his serve, he allowed his opponent to make an early break. The French tennis player's game fell apart, Millman focused and accurately completed the strikes.
Adrian was unable to return to his usual technical play, instead giving Millman another game on his serve. On match point, after losing the ball, Mannarino did not immediately go to shake hands with the winner, at first trying to challenge the decision of the chief referee not to replay the ball, despite the fact that Mannarino was allegedly prevented from playing by the lineman's shout. But the referee announced the final score: 7: 5, 6: 1
The Australian pair, Max Purcell and Luke Saville, could have made break in the first game, but Luke Saville resisted the serve. Then the players served quite confidently and in the middle of the set exchanged quick whitewashing games. The Australians had another chance to take the lead in the ninth game, but Fligen delivered the serve flawlessly. Then Gillet provided the Belgians with at least a tie-break, but Purcell at the end of the set gave his opponents his serve.
The game remained with the players from Belgium.
The Australians were close to losing a game on Purcell's serve again in the third game of the second set, but his team-mate played clearly at the net, taking the decisive point. Then the couple started having problems with Saville's serve. The Belgians got some 100% chances to score and took the lead with a break. The Australian pair failed to recoup, Fligen served confidently and Purcell continued to make mistakes. The winner in the final was the pair of Goran Fligen and Sander Gillet.
During the awarding ceremony, the Australians said that, in addition to the awards, they take wonderful impressions of their stay in Kazakhstan and the organization of the tournament. Luke Saville did not forget to thank everyone - from the management of the ATP and the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation to the chefs, court and hotel staff.
The ATP 250 Astana Open World Tour was held in Kazakhstan for the first time. The Tennis Federation of Kazakhstan received the right to host one of the most prestigious tournaments of the Association of Tennis Professionals in Nur-Sultan at the end of the year.
Astana Open was held from October 25 to November 1, 2020 and gathered more than 30 participants from the world's TOP-100. The strongest tennis players of the world took part in the tournament - Benoit Paire (26), Adrian Mannarino (39), John Millman (43). The Kazakh national tennis team was represented by Mikhail Kukushkin (88), Alexander Bublik (49), Dmitriy Popko (171), Timofey Skatov (438), Denis Yevseyev (373), Andrey Golubev (89), Alexander Nedovyesov (333).
The ATP 250 World Tour includes 40 professional men's events a year. However, this season, due to the pandemic, there were only 17. The tournament in Nur-Sultan, in fact, closes the season and gives tennis players one of the last opportunities this year to get 250 points in the ATP ranking. The prize fund of the tournament was $ 275,000. To ensure safety, Astana Open was held without spectators.
The Kazakhstan Tennis Federation annually holds up to 50 international tournaments, including the President's Cup and the Davis Cup.
Spectarors are not allowed during the matches due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Beeline is the General Sponsor of the tournament.
Sponsors: Forte Bank and Mastercard.
Partners: Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport, Terra Motors, Jaguar and Land Rover, Technodom, Aqua Rossa, Technogym, Нead and ASU.
Information partners: Qazaqstan, Qazsport, Setanta, Zakon.kz, Informburo, Channel 31, Forbes.kz, Business FM.
Kazakhstan Tennis Federation
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