Kazakh stars warm up for Astana Open at cool ice hockey match

21.09.2021    Views: 105
Source: KTF press-service
Courtney Walsh

The 24-year-old, who is the second seed in the ATP Tour 250, received an opening round bye and will play Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in the second round on Thursday. Bublik, No. 34 on the FedEx ATP Rankings, arrived in Nur-Sultan from Moscow and spent time with Mikhail Kukushkin and some of Kazakhstan’s most promising talents on Tuesday.

Kazakhstan’s top-ranked player and Kukushkin, his Davis Cup teammate, were both presented with an ice hockey jersey with their name on it during a visit to a local school.
Later on Tuesday they attended an ice hockey match between Barys and CSKA Moscow in the Kontinental Hockey League, highlighting another of the sporting attractions Nur-Sultan offers to visitors.

Bublik will play Kecmanovic, who defeated Fernando Verdasco 6-4 6-2 on Monday, for the first time on the ATP Tour on Thursday. They have played doubles together on the ATP Tour and at Challenger level in the past. Meanwhile, the 2021 Astana Open will feature seven singles matches and three doubles clashes on a busy Wednesday. In opening round action, Kukushkin will look to make the most of his wildcard when he plays Australian James Duckworth, who is enjoying the best season of his career.

Duckworth arrived in Nur-Sultan on Monday night after winning his 12th ATP Tour Challenger tournament last week when successful in Istanbul. Kazakhstan wildcard entrant Timofey Skatov, a former world junior No. 1, will play Ilya Ivashka, a recent winner of an ATP Tour title in Winston-Salem, in a second round match. Lorenzo Musetti faces seventh-seed Laslo Djere, while defending champion John Millman will play Jaume Munar in the other match on center court. Soonwoo Kwon arrived in Nur-Sultan from Newport, Rhode Island, where he led South Korea to a Davis Cup success over New Zealand on the weekend. He plays Russian qualifier Evgeny Donskoy. Emil Ruusuvuori will face Benjamin Bonzi, while Carlos Taberner plays Ricardas Berankis in the other matches on Court One.

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