Moscow works on the new image of the Kremlin Cup

Katerina Sinyakova in last year's match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Katerina Sinyakova in last year's match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Less than a hundred days are left before the start of the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament at the Olympic sports complex. This is the first Russian men's international professional tournament in history, founded in 1990 by Swiss businessman Sasconom Kakshuri. The idea of a professional tennis tournament in Moscow was supported by the chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, Ivan Silayev, who led its first organizing committee.

The men's tournament has been attended by well-known foreign masters: Croat Goran Ivanisevic (winner 1996), the Austrian Thomas Muster, the Spanish Emilio Sanchez and Sergi Bruguera, the Swiss Jakob Hlasek and Olympic champion Marc Rosset (winner 1992-1993), Czech Peter Korda, Dutchman Paul Haarheys Germans Karl-Uwe Shteeb (winner 1995), Nicolas Kiefer and Tommy Haas, the French Paul-Henri Mathieu (winner 2002), Fabrice Santoro, Nicolas Escude and Arnaud Clement. In 2001 Yevgeny Kafelnikov became the winner for the fifth time in succession at that period of time and set a record of wins in a row at ATP tournaments.

The Kremlin Cup Women's Tournament also gathers the cream of the world of women's tennis. Among its winners have been Manuela Maleeva (1994-1995, 2002), Conchita Martinez (1995), Jana Novotna (1997), Mary Pierce (1998, 2005), Martina Hingis (2000), Jelena Jankovic (2008) and Francesca Schiavone ( 2009). Over the years on the courts of the Olympic sports complex such legendary tennis players have played as Monica Seles, Lindsay Davenport, Amelie Mauresmo and Martina Navratilova, as well as Venus and Serena Williams.

In 2003 Anastasia Myskina became the first Russian woman to have won the Kremlin Cup in singles. In 2004, Russian players won the tournament in all categories.

The amateur tournament 'Big Hat' has traditionally been organized for many years during the competition at the Olympic sports complex with the participation of well-known politicians, businessmen and actors of stage and screen.

The Director General of the Kremlin Cup tournament, Jacob Shatkhin, says that now the organizers are trying to keep the tournament at last year's level, even when the economic situation isn't easy. "We work a lot on the image of the tournament. Now isn't the time just to invite people to play tennis. We need to create a specific show. It should be very interesting that the tournament could become a socially significant event. A lot of families participate in it. This year, we are trying to resume beach tennis once again," Shahtin said. According to him, they have some difficulties with sponsors, but they have some agreements," Shahtin noted. The main sponsor is the Bank of Moscow, and among the official partners are Jaguar, Rado and Ricoh.
"I think the tournament will be held at a higher level than last year,'' Shahtin believes.

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