- About the tournament
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On Friday, 20th September, as the part of the international tennis tournament St. Petersburg Open 2019 the first matches of the round robin of the Pro-Am tournament were played. On the first court of the athletics arena, next to SIBUR ARENA, two teams from qualifying group No. 2 came together in a tense match. Mikhail Youzhny, former world №8, teamed-up with the director general of the tournament St. Petersburg Open 2019 Alexander Medvedev played against the team of former world №1 Dinara Safina and the honored coach of Ukraine and Russia Vladimir Kamelzon and a tennis player Alexandra Saidova.
Youzhny served powerfully, but Safina confidently returned all the shots of her opponent, right after Alexander Medvedev and Vladimir Kamelzon were coming to help their partners on court. However, Youzhny was often repeating the phrase “The Mission: Scissors.” After the match, Alexander Medvedev explained with a smile: “This is not an actual mission, but a horror film for the opponent! In tennis, “scissors” means when the ball passes between two players!” Indeed, Medvedev’s unexpected shots often took opponents by surprise and it was the “The Mission: Scissors” that often brought the team Youzhny-Medvedev points, and ultimately brought the victory itself – 6/3, 6/4. “To Mikhail [Youzhny] and to me – no matter who to outplayt! We are ready for any opponent!”- shared the mood of the team, Alexander Medvedev.
At the same time, teams from the first group of the Pro-Am tournament met at the SIBUR ARENA training court: the coach of the Russian youth football team and former “Zenit” player Alexander Kerzhakov, former tennis players Daria Panfilkina and Anastasia Bukhanko (now the host of the TV program “Pora na tennis!”) opposed the tennis squad consisting of the vice-governor Vladimir Kirillov and champion of “Roland Garros-1997 ”, a member of the board of the tournament for player relations Iva Majoli. The match was truly exciting. To the surprise of all viewers, including Kerzhakov himself, Kirillov and Maioli lost the first set. However, then the Kirillov-Maioli duo was able to turn the tide of the meeting, and then win on the champion tie-break (4/6, 6/4, 10-4).
“Today I managed to win the first set with the team!”, – Kerzhakov shared his emotions. The famous football player, by the way, has a positive attitude towards the inclusion of tennis in the training program for football players: “Any players who play football at a professional level can play tennis. Artem Dzyuba, for example, plays. If it does not interfere with the main training program, why not?”
On Saturday, September 21, the next matches of the group stage of the Pro-Am tournament will be held, and on Sunday, September 22, the winner of the tournament will be determined.
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