25.10.2020    Views: 713
The growing popularity of tennis’ in Kazakhstan and the rise of its best players into the top of the international rankings have been meteoric. Today the nation boasts 12 players ranked on the ATP professional rankings and two players, Alexander Bublik (49) and Mikhail Kukushin (84), are ranked in the top 100.

They are closely being followed in the rankings by young stars Dmitry Popko (ranked 173 ) and 19-year-old Timofey Skatov (ranked 450). The former World No 1 Junior and Kazakh Born Timofey Skatov won three ITF Professional events in 2020 which helped him during a tournament starved year to move up in the professional rankings much to the delight of his many fans in Kazakhstan
The Astana Open Media Team spoke with Timofey Skatov.
Q.  Did you expect to have such fabulous debut on the ATP Tour
Actually this is a great debut for any young player. I did not expect that an ATP tour event would be held in Kazakhstan this year especially after the pandemic which disturbed tennis in the entire globe. I'm thankful to the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation for getting such a big event into the country.  I'm also thankful to them for awarding me a main draw wild card which gives me this great opportunity to make my debut and play an ATP Tour event in singles.
Q . Yes from ITF to ATP Tour event it must be totally different experience for you?
Ans : Sure the big level of playing on the ATP tour is different. Actually, after my performances this year in the ITF Circuit, I thought I would play  Challenger events but unfortunately, there were not many challenges due to the pandemic. I am sure that this event, the Astana Open, played  at home will help me to grow as a professional
Q. What are your expectations from the event?
Ans : I'm happy that I will be part of an ATP 250 event and make a debut on the ATP Tour on my home courts. I have no expectations, but I will surely try to do my best and give it all I have.
 Q . How would you  explain the Contribution of  Kazakhstan tennis Federation in your career growth
Ans : The Contribution of the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation has been really commendable and they have been so supportive to my career so far.  The wild card is truly a big opportunity to begin my professional career and now I need to prove myself.
Q. Plans for Future
Ans: It depends on how I play here. It will be great if I'm able to pass a couple of rounds, to show a good level and get some points here. I then will plan to be playing more Challengers in the coming year
Q. Message to your fans
Ans : I don't have so many fans now but  I  hope in future I will have many more fans. But I would like to thank everyone for the support and I assure them that I will do my best for them and the country.

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