Attracting Foreign Athletes Doesn’t Mean Refusal to Support National Tennis Players.

This year, the national team of Kazakhstan once again got into the quarterfinal of the Davis Cup, making a triumphant come back into the World Group and the top league of tennis, where it has been shining almost uninterruptedly since 2011. The President of the Tennis Federation of Kazakhstan, Bulat Utemuratov, congratulated the athletes and their fans on this great triumph and commented on the controversial issue of attracting foreign athletes to get a cap for Kazakhstan.

The KTF president has been backing foreign athletes playing for Kazakhstan from his personal funds. He insists that this is the right approach, since it takes time to train Kazakhstani tennis players from their very childhood so that they could perform well at high level competitions.

At the same time, Bulat Utemuratov noted that Kazakhstan helped foreign athletes succeed as professional tennis players and became their second homeland, as now they live in the country with their families.

"They came to me, when they ranked 140th -180th. Nedovesov played in a student league. And then all of them, including Yaroslava Shvedova, established themselves as professionals in Kazakhstan. They were in the third-forth tier in Russia. We created all conditions for them, and they achieved success, when capped for Kazakhstan," – Utemuratov commented.

During his cooperation with the Tennis Federation of Kazakhstan, Andrei Golubev won the ATP-500 tournament in Hamburg, Kukushkin performed in the Kremlin Cup final and won the ATP-250 tournament in St. Petersburg. And both tennis players won the Davis Cup matches.

"We must thank them for their consent. They like everything in Kazakhstan, they play with pleasure, they enjoy our support, they have their own fans. What else do you need? You call them foreign players, but they are like children to me," – the KTF president said.

Bulat Uremuratov is known in the country as a core fan of tennis, promoting the sport across entire Kazakhstan. He has already invested $65 million in the development of tennis infrastructure and opened the Team Kazakhstan academy to train promising Kazakhstani athletes. Under his patronage, KTF holds tournaments of international level, while Kazakhstani tennis players became globally recognized.