ALEXANDER MEDVEDEV: ST. PETERSBURG LADIES TROPHY 2017 WILL BE BETTER THAN ITS PREVIOUS EDITION AS JOINT WORK WITH THE CITY ADMINISTRATION PROVIDES GREAT RESULTS WHEN ORGANIZING A TOURNAMENT.
Today, on the 28th of November, a press conference with the participation of the Organizing Committee of St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2017 WTA, city authorities, sports community, and the media took place in the office of the TASS News Agency St. Petersburg.
The participants of the event included Alexander Medvedev – Deputy Chairman of the Board, Gazprom PJSC, Director General of the Tournament, Vladimir Kirillov – Vice Governor of St. Petersburg, Pavel Belov – Chairman of the Committee for Physical Culture and Sports of St. Petersburg City Administration, Vladimir Kamelzon – Member of the Board for General Affairs, Merited Coach of Russia, Svetlana Kuznetsova – Russian tennis player (WTA ranking – 9), Merited Master of Sport of Russia, Iva Majoli – WTA Representative for Player Relations, Vera Podguzova – PR Director of the tournament.
The press conference was moderated by the Press Center Supervisor of St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2017 Mikhail Ivanov.
In his opening speech Alexander Medvedev noted that, going by a famous Russian saying “prepare your sled in summer”, instead of organizing the preliminary press conference right before the winter women’s competition the decision had been made to conduct it at the end of autumn. Mr. Medvedev emphasized that, despite changes in the WTA calendar where St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy coincides with the ending of Australian Open, the Organizing Committee of the women’s competition in St. Petersburg is fully prepared and confident in making a tournament that is going to outdo the last year’s event.
“The proof is the participation in our tournament and today’s presence at the press conference of Svetlana Kuznetsova,” Alexander Medvedev said. “We are also very pleased that, apart from Svetlana, Top-10 players from the WTA ranking are also taking part in the competition: Simona Halep (4) and Dominika Cibulkova (5). Our own Olympic champions Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova are participating in St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2017! Everyone will be glad to see the game of Daria Kasatkina and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Martina Hingis is participating in doubles. At the moment we do not know who is going to be the partner of the last year’s winner, since they split with Sania Mirza, but I am sure she will have no problem in finding a doubles partner. We are also expecting the winner of St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2016 Roberta Vinci and the finalist Belinda Bencic on the courts of Sibur Arena. As for the preparation of the tournament, everything is going well and according to schedule, we are meeting all the deadlines. I will also note that there are going to be many surprises for the spectators, so, the number of tennis fans watching is expected to grow at the stadium, as well as behind the TV screens and on the Internet.”
The Vice Governor of St. Petersburg Vladimir Kirillov thanked everyone at the press conference for the participation in the making of the second WTA tournament, noting that, in addition to the renewed St. Petersburg Open, the Organizing Committee have expended the city’s calendar of sports events with yet another event important for the residents of St. Petersburg – the new International Tennis Tournament St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy.
“The city is making a strong statement in the world of tennis! The interest in this competition is enormous,” Mr. Kirillov said. “It is confirmed by the numebrs: last year the attendance was more than twenty thousand. What makes me especially happy is that these events are organized by people who love tennis and sports: Alexander Medvedev, Natalia Kamelzon and Vladimir Kamelzon. They play tennis a lot themselves and really care about every tournament.”
Alexander Medvedev brought audience’s attention to the fact that without the support of the city administration and the Governor of St. Petersburg organizing a competition of such scale would be extremely problematic. As the Administration is willingly helping the Organizing Committee in solving important issues, the upcoming tournament of 2017 will be better than its previous edition.
The participant of St. Petersburg LadiesTrophy 2017 Svetlana Kuznetsova, St. Petersburg’s native and a professional player from the Top-10, admitted she was very happy to be invited to the tournament in February. Svetlana said she had not been able to take part in the last year’s event due to her busy schedule, but was happy to except the invitation from Alexander Medvedev this time.
“I am very pleased to be in the city I was born! I am grateful to Alexander Medvedev for the invitation and looking forward to going on court. I know I am going to be very nervous, but I will do well! Thanks to the people like Mr. Medvedev, tennis is developing in our city. And it is very important, because kids come to see the competition, and the game of world tennis stars can be strong motivation for them. I remember St. Petersburg Open being great motivatin for myself! I still remember asking Marat Safin for his old grip! (Laughing) So, watching the champions is great motivation, and it lets you realize that everything is possible!”
Iva Majoli, a tennis player from Croatia, who participates in the preparation of St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2017 and is in charge of international player relations, said that it would be the second competition where she participates. The athlete expressed confidence that the second WTA tournament about to happen in St. Petersburg is going to be outstanding. And she thanked the Organizing Committee and Alexander Medvedev in particular for making it possible.
Vladimir Kamelzon, Member of the Board of the Tournament and the Merited Coach of Russia, also promised a great level of organization of St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2017. Mr. Kamelzon thanked everyone for their joint work, expressed his special gratitude to Svetlana Kuznetsova, saying many nice things about her and wishing her victory. According to the tennis guru, Svetlana, being St. Petersburg’s native, will inevitably have the crowds in her favor, because St. Petersburg loves its athletes! Vladimir Kamelzon said he will be supporting Svetlana just like everyone else. The Merited Coach of Russia believes that St. Petersburg’s soil will give birth to many more tennis stars like Svetlana Kuznetsova and Alexander Bublik. Unfortunately, the latter is not with Russia anymore. Vladimir Kamelzon confirmed that Alexander will be playing for Kazakhstan.
Vera Podguzova, PR Director of the tournament, thanked everyone for their interest in tennis events, encouraged media representatives to actively participate in the contests for best reports from the tournament, talked about some organizational matters, and assured the journalists that their suggestions on the work of the Press Center will be taken into account for the competition in February.
“As St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy takes place in winter, we are organizing all activities for spectators in entertainment and shopping centers,” Ms. Podguzova explained talking about the preparation of the PR campaign for the tournament. “Among other nice things there is a campaign “find the mascot”. Any resident of St. Petersburg or its guest who sees Lev or Lyna in a shopping center can take a picture with them and post it on a social network with the hashtags #itstennistime and #formulatx for a chance of winning a ticket to the women’s tournament.
Vera Podguzova also mentioned that there is going to be a tournament for media representatives organized as part of the official program of the professional women’s tournament for the 3rd time. Preliminary date is December, 15.
Director General of St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2017 Alexander Medvedev announced that there is a tennis tournament by Formula Tennis-Xokkey which will take place as part of the women’s competition program with the participation of world tennis and hockey stars. Among confirmed participants are such world-famous athletes as Alexei Kovalev, Vladimir Malakhov, Alexei Yashin, Maxim Sushinsky, as well as Pavel Bure and Andrei Kovalenko.
Maria Borouhina, Press Secretary of the WTA tournament St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2017.