Ahead of the Russia Day, on June 11, a regular press conference took place in the northwestern regional office of TASS News Agency. The participants included the members of the Organizing Committee, representatives from the city authorities and sports community, and journalists.
The Organizing Committee of professional men’s and women’s tennis tournaments of St. Petersburg usually hold press conferences not long before the actual competitions, but this event became an exception. It happened three months ahead of the beginning of the XXIV International Tennis Tournament St. Petersburg Open, because this year marks a small anniversary – 5 years since the tournament was headed by the organizing company «Formula Tennis-Xokkey». One can safely call it a new era since the revival of St. Petersburg Open in the birthplace of the Russian tennis in 2015. Within this period, which is not that long from a historical point of view, but significant for those who love and respect tennis, the tournament was not just brought back to St. Petersburg, but also became the best event according to the independent voting by players from the world ranking.
The speakers of the press conference included Vladimir Kirillov – Vice Governor of St. Petersburg; Alexander Medvedev – Director General of the ATP Tournament, Director General of Zenit FC; Ruslan Linkov – license holder of the ATP tournament; Natalia Kamelzon – Executive Director of the ATP Tournament, Director General of the Formula Tennis-Xokkey Company, and a merited coach of Russia; Iva Majoli – Member of the Tournament’s Board for Player Relations; Vladimir Kamelzon – Member of the Tournament’s Board for General Affairs, merited coach of Russia; Vera Podguzova – Member of the Tournament’s Board, PR Director.
By tradition, Director General of St. Petersburg Open Alexander Medvedev started by welcoming the participants and thanking them for the joint work at the men’s and women’s professional tennis tournaments, he expressed great appreciation to the city authorities represented at the press conference by the Vice Governor Vladimir Kirillov, stating that without the support of St. Petersburg’s Governor and his team the organization of the sports events of such level would not have been possible. Alexander Medvedev believes that this is true not just for the tennis events, but also for the Confederations Cup, Ice Hockey World Championship, and Football World Cup, where it was not just the Gazprom Arena that made an impression, but also the high level of organization.
«We have prepared a number of interesting events for the upcoming St. Petersburg Open, challenges that will happen at Gazprom Arena and include top players,» the Director General of the ATP Tournament Alexander Medvedev said. «As for this kind of players participating in our event, we have no doubt that they will. Besides, our statement about the participation of a Top 10 player and two Top 20 players has already been confirmed: the leader of the Russian ranking and the no. 9 in the world ranking Karen Khachanov will take part in the upcoming tournament in St. Petersburg. Karen’s professional career might not have started at our tournament, but it reached some important milestones here: we gave him a wild card, and he lived up to the expectations. As for the Top 20 players, we will welcome Borna Coric, who is no. 14 in the world ranking, and watch Stan Wawrinka play on our courts (no. 19 in the ATP ranking).
Alexander Medvedev particularly noted that the Laver Cup tournament that takes place during the same period (it will be held on Sept. 20-22, 2019 in Geneva) makes the work of the Organizing Committee of St. Petersburg’s tournaments significantly harder in terms of involving the top players, since the authority of Roger Federer, who is part of the Organizing Committee of the Laver Cup, is so big that the choice of the tournament by the Top 10 and Top 20 players is obvious. However, according to Mr. Medvedev, they have managed to maintain the level of St. Petersburg’s tournament, and there will be a few more players, if not from the world’s Top 10, then certainly from the Top 20.
The Director General of the ATP Tournament has expressed his great gratitude to the license holder Ruslan Linkov. Alexander Medvedev especially mentioned the joint well-coordinated work with the license holder of the tournament on preparing and organizing St. Petersburg Open. He also brought the attention of the audience to the fact that the men’s professional tennis tournament will raise its category to ATP 500 in the near future. On his part, Ruslan Linkov attested to the existence of the common ground and open dialog between two parties. The license holder of the tournament especially thanked the Executive Director of the ATP Tournament Natalia Kamelzon for being very professional when organizing St. Petersburg Open, he thanked St. Petersburg’s Administration represented by the Vice Governor Vladimir Kirillov for their help and support of the tennis events, expressed his gratitude to the PR Director of the Tournament Vera Podguzova and the Member of the Tournament’s Board for Player Relations Iva Majoli.
Alexander Medvedev concluded his speech by talking about the regular Pro-Am tournament, which this year will be organized in the style of the very first tennis tournaments: men will wear britches and women – longer dresses and hats.
St. Petersburg’s Vice Governor Vladimir Kirillov kind-heartedly noted that you have to be very brief after Alexander Medvedev’s speeches, because they are always very informative and interesting. Mr. Kirillov began his speech by talking about football, particularly about the Organizing Committee for the upcoming EURO 2020 formed under the supervision of the Acting Governor of St. Petersburg Alexander Beglov. He congratulated everyone on the Russia Day which would take place on June 12.
«I am pleased to say that the XXIV International Tennis Tournament St. Petersburg Open is a landmark event for our city», Vladimir Kirillov noted. «It has rightfully gained an important spot in the sports calendar of St. Petersburg, attracting more big stars every year. This is the fifth time that the men’s tennis competition is organized by the Formula Tennis-Xokkey Company, thanks to which the tournament got its second wind and gained great authority in the professional community.»
By tradition, Vice Governor also thanked media representatives for their interest and promotion of the tennis events. According to Vladimir Kirillov, thanks to the joint work of everyone, the interest in tennis in St. Petersburg is growing and the amount of children who started actively attending tennis schools and clubs of the city is quickly rising.
Member of the Tournament’s Board for Player Relations Iva Majoli welcomed the participants and explained that there were still three months left before the beginning of the tournament to properly work on player participation. At the moment there are negotiations with Daniil Medvedev and Marin Cilic on their possible participation in St. Petersburg Open 2019.
Executive Director of the ATP Tournament, Director General of the Formula Tennis-Xokkey Company, merited coach of Russia Natalia Kamelzon always welcomes the guests of regular press conferences with great joy and appreciation. This time was not an exception: she started by thanking everybody – St. Petersburg’s authorities represented by the Vice Governor Vladimir Kirillov, Committee for Physical Culture and Sports, the title sponsor of the competition Gazprom Export, all official partners of the tournament, media partners and representatives. Natalia Kamelzon said that everything is practically ready to host the fifth since the return to its birthplace St. Petersburg Open 2019 and that the center court at Sibur Arena is now going through some maintenance, and the the tickets are already on sale. Ms. Kamelzon especially noted that the draw ceremony will take place on the day of qualifying matches – Sunday, September 15 – on the Center Court of Sibur Arena, the presentation of players before the matches will be different, and promised that the tournament will be as spectacular as can be for the fans and visitors of St. Petersburg Open.
PR Director of the Tournament Vera Podguzova thanked St. Petersburg’s Metro administration and the St. Petersburg administration’s Committee for the Press and Mass Media Cooperation for the provided opportunity to organize an advertising campaign ahead of the tournament. Ms. Podguzova talked in detail about the activities organized be the W-PRO Company for the spring-summer season preceding St. Petersburg Open 2019.
«From April till the end of September Formula TX organizes junior tournament series «Formula of Success» in St. Petersburg and Moscow for boys and girls of different ages. We would like to thank the Lokosphinx Tennis Center for being our partner and providing the courts for junior tennis tournaments. We express our sincere gratitude to the sponsors of the junior tournaments – EPL. Yakutian Diamonds, Erich Krause, Tennis Line, as well as the family club for sports and entertainment «Champion», and, of course, the leading Russian company – the producer of the cookies «Posidelkino».
This summer we are organizing a tennis clinic for everyone interested in Maritime Victory Park (Primorskiy Park Pobedy) on Krestovsky Island. We invite everyone on Saturday, June 15, to the Maritime Victory Park. The clinic will be held from 13.00 to 16.00. Other events are planned for August 24 and September 7. Everyone interested can participate in our special campaign «Learn to work with a racquet and a ball». It is the second time that we participate in the international marathon «White Nights». Our mascots Lev and Lyna happily see race participants off at the staring line and welcome them at the finish line. It has become a tradition that we participate in a big international event called Fontanka-SUP, for which we are very grateful to our regular partner – online newspaper fontanka.ru – the official media partner of the men’s and women’s tennis tournaments of St. Petersburg. It is the eighth time that we organize a tournament for our deeply respected media representatives. The event has become regular: we organize competitions for journalists ahead of our professional tournaments and we are very glad that they keep being interesting for them. This year we have also prepared a special program for the participants of St. Petersburg Open. Players of the XXIV International Tennis Tournament will visit the Hermitage State Museum and take part in various city tours, which keep improving every year thanks to the work of the Organizing Committee. We have tried to make an interesting and vast program for spectators and tennis fans. Starting from Tuesday, September 17, they will be able to visit our Open Press Center and talk to tennis stars. The permanent area for the spectators called Open Court with a tennis freestyler will also bring joy to everyone who wants to learn about this exciting sport while having a lot of fun in the process. In addition, we will host our regular kids clinic with the participation of tennis stars, invite everyone to the Emirates Day and our cyber tennis and hockey tournaments, our guests will also be able to enjoy tennis in virtual reality. We are also keeping our regular contests for the best journalist and the best photographer of the tournament. For the fifth time already we will organize the contests for active users of social media and the Internet. All accredited media representatives will be able to participate in the contests «Best tennis blogger», «Best media report about the tournament», «unstoppable», #iamthebestfan, smartphone giveaway, «Best Instagram feed about the tournament», «Best tournament coverage in the media», «Best Twitter account». I would like to thank all of you once again for the interest in our tournaments, your great work and dedication to the profession. See you on the courts of Sibur Arena.
Member of the Tournament’s Board, merited coach of Russia Vladimir Kamelzon is always the last one to talk at the press conference not because he has nothing to say after interesting and informative speeches of his colleagues, but because he can always provide for a great ending. Everyone is waiting for what the tennis guru has to say. And this time was not an exception.
«I would like to thank this amazing audience providing the ideological basis for our events,» – Vladimir Kamelzon said. «Every member of the management present here is well aware of a very busy schedule of each representative of our team that is getting stronger every day. I can say that not a single person has left our team during the last five years. We were able to master hockey and now it is time that our company Formula TX masters football, since Alexander Medvedev is now part of the football world as well, it is time to go from two sports to three sports. We are now thinking of the right strategy to conquer Gazprom Arena.»
Mr. Kamelzon concluded his speech dedicating a few nice words to St. Petersburg’s tournaments and saying that they have a very nice atmosphere. This view expressed by Mr. Kamelzon is supported by the generous amount of feedback from the visitors of St. Petersburg’s professional men’s and women’s tennis tournaments.
«Who speaks a lot, speaks too much. I have said everything I wanted to say,» Vladimir Kamelzon concluded.
After all the speakers have talked, media representatives had some questions for them and received detailed answers.
We remind you that the ATP tournament St. Petersburg Open 2019 is taking place at the Concert and Sports Complex Sibur Arena from September 15 till September 22. The tournament is held with the support of the title sponsor Gazprom Export, the global sponsor of the ATP – Emirates, the official partners of the tournament – Eriell and EPL. Yakutian Diamonds, the official hotel – Four Seasons Lion Palace.