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St. Petersburg Open 2018 players’ party: new venue but old good habits!

18.09.2018, 03:15 #News

This time around the traditional gala dinner for the participants of St. Petersburg Open 2018 was held in a new venue – i.e. in the spacious hall of the Lotte Hotel (Antonenko lane, b.2). But if he venue of the players’ party can be changed, then the goold old habits and traditions remain the same. It is already impossible to imagine the event without the highly artistic and witty MC Alexander Belov.

Outstanding ballerina Oksana Bondareva, laureate of international competitions and soloist of the Mikhailovsky Theater, opened the show. After her amazing performance the tournament VIPS addressed its participants and guests. Deputy Chairman of Gazprom board of directors and director general of St. Petersburg Opеn Alexander Medvedev quoted the head of the Kosmos group foorballer Gerard Pique who spearheaded the changes in the Davis Cup format approved at the latest ITF General Assembly in Orlando. According to A. Medvedev, shortly before the beginning of the St. Petersburg Open 2018 he met with Pique in Barcelona and discussed a number of issues related to the future of world tennis. They both agreed that reasonable changes in the regulation and format are possible, but one thing must surely remain unchanged: all players without any exceptions must respect and behave correctly towards the umpires.”So, don’t you worry, no one will yell at you at this tournament,” – the speaker ironically reassured the ATP team of officials present at the gala dinner.

Vice-governor of St. Petersburg Vladimir Kirillov warmly greeted the audience and wished good luck to all participants of the tournament. He was followed by ATP Supervisor Thomas Karlberg who confessed that he had wanted to come to the tournament in St. Petersburg a while ago having heard so much positive feedback from the players. “They like the tournament and this party, that’s why many of them keep coming here,” Thomas Karlberg saod. “And I’m glad that I was able to join them this time”. After that Thomas Karlberg invited on stage Mikhail Youzhny, the participant of the tournament, who decided to retire from professional tennis this year at his favorite tournament – St. Petersburg Open. Mr. Karlberg called Mikhail one of the best players of ATP Tour and praised his results and achievements. “Youzhny has always behaved correctly towards the umpires and his opponents, always respecting the principles of fair play in every tournament he participated in,” – said T. Karlberg. A little later the guests of the gala dinner watched a short film featuring career highights of the holder of 19 ATP titles, including some cuts from the famous Davis Cup finals France vs. Russia, when Mikhail won the 5th winning point for his team, defeating the French Paul-Henri Mathieu.

Mikhail, in turn, thanked Mr. Karlberg and the audience for such warm words about him and for the high appreciation of his achievements in tennis. Mikhail’s permanent coach Boris Sobkin joined his charge on stage. “This is the end of just the first chapter in the life of my trainee – right now the finbal pages of this chapter are being written,” – said the coach of former World’s №8. “But I’m sure that there will be many other bright pages in the book of his life, so let’s wish Misha every success in his new endeavour”.

All guests of the gala-dinner liked the memorable performance of attractive dancers from the team “Moscow ShowGirls”, who won over the audience with their incredible show. Another bright and magical performance with elements of theater, dancing and lightning was put together by JOKERS. Their show presented an amazing world, in which there is only one rule – Be Open! This phrase is the main motto of the tournament this year. “It is the players who inspire us for such creative solutions, because you are open to victories and you are always open to everything new!”, – said Eva Gabulova, creative director, director of ceremonies and shows of all tennis tournaments held in St. Petersburg.

Obviously, the organizers of the St. Petersburg Tournament always come up with something new, something you will not see anywhere else: only here ATP tournaments are accompanied by an original anthem – the new single called “Be Open”. Its lyrics repeat  the main motto and philosophy of the tournament – Be Open! These words also became the refrain of the anthem of the tournament sung by Diana Khitarova, the winner of numerous music awards and also the headliner of the tournament closing ceremony in 2017. The final act of the dinner was the spectacular Evdokimov Show followed by a sparkling hosted by MC Alexander Belov who later gave way to DJ Alex Fresh.

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