Only at the beginning of this year Kazakhstani national team brilliantly won the Davis Cup qualifications and got a toehold in the World Group. Once again this proved the great potential for the development of professional tennis in the country and reminded of the need to promote greater availability of this sport for talented children. As if in reply to the need, a new tennis center was opened in Almaty in spring, visited by Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan. This emphasizes the importance of the task to engage general public into sports, provided by the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation and its head Bulat Utemuratov.
The new "Ace"center is a KTF club and the largest tennis facility in Almaty. It can host high level tournaments of "ATP Challenger" in summertime. There are 10 indoor and outdoor hardcourts with a total area of 8100 square meters. Also,the center accommodates 2 gyms, a medical center, changing rooms, coachers’ rooms, a conference hall, food services area, etc.
"In summer we will host the first international tournament ITF Women’s with a prize fund of 15 thousand dollars. Many tennis stars will come here, and we hope that Kazakhstani team will become one of the prize-winners," says Andrey Kvasov, director of the center.
To date, the city has more than 10 large tennis clubs, 4 of which are the KTF branches. In a short time "Ace" club gathered more than 200 people playing sports. Many of them are children over 4 years old, trained by highly qualified coaches. Thanks to the support of the Almaty akimat, 80 children will be trained there on a free basis.
"The minimum cost of KTF lessons for children in the city is 17 thousand tenge per month. This includes 12 hour long sessions 3 times a week. We also have private clubs, which set prices based on their expenses. We provide equipment for them - balls, rackets. And the rest of the equipment is purchased by players. Also, we have 10-50%discounts for people with disabilities, large families and low-income families," said the director.
According to him, the number of those who want to play tennis is very high, and thus the popularity of this sport grows not only in Almaty, but in all regions where KTF branches exist. This inspires the KTF president to put more efforts into building new courts and tennis centers not only in large, but also in small cities of the country.