Alexander Medvedev: "I wish the time would come when the strongest players from all over the world will come here to play"

- Alexander Ivanovich, please tell us a bit about your love for tennis and today's Pro Am amateur tournament.
- I started playing tennis quite late because I was involved in other sports like football and hockey. But when I began playing, I really liked the game, and I always enjoyed playing in any combination, in any team. It so happened that 10 years ago, the St. Petersburg Open tournament was at risk of leaving St. Petersburg, facing the threat of selling the license to another country. Dmitry Tursunov, with whom I won today's Pro Am tournament, called and told me about this situation. In turn, I shared this information with Alexey Borisovich Miller, who was familiar with the history of the tournament. I said there was an opportunity to take over the license, and that's what we did. We successfully organized seven St. Petersburg Open tournaments, and following that, there was the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy, which we also organized seven times. In total, these tournaments were recognized four times as the best tournaments in their category. Such things never happen without a reason.

- When can we expect the return of the tournament in Saint Petersburg in ATP and WTA status?
- Everyone really wants the situation to change, and for us to return to international competitions. Fortunately, tennis players still play all the tournaments, and there are many sports where our athletes are deprived of the opportunity to compete at the international level, including football. We conduct friendly matches quite widely. I am sure that historical truth will prevail and peace will come. It will be a just world where there will definitely be a place for sports.

- This year, the tournament changed its format a bit. It seems that when two teams are involved –"Lions" and "Sphinxes," the tournament becomes closer to the audience. Can you share with us how the idea of this format came to be?
- Last year, we held the first North Palmyra Trophies tournament. We studied the experience of the Laver Cup, which is also a team tournament. By the way, I think there was a rout this year – Team Europe was defeated 10-1 or something like that. We thought that if there are high-class players in the teams, three boys and three girls in each team, it would attract the audience's interest, and there was indeed very intense competition. After yesterday's matches, the score was 4-3 in favor of the "Sphinxes". We see that more famous players have arrived and there has certainly been an increase of people at the stands. This means that our choice is correct. These two architectural symbols of our city, lions and sphinxes, resonate in the hearts of fans.

- What are your and the organizer’s team plans for the North Palmyra Trophies-2024 tournament?
- Another tournament is coming to an end, and preparations for the next one will begin with a short break for the organizers. So, in January, we will start preparing for the North Palmyra Trophies 2024. It is important to find a slot in the calendar, preferably without contending exhibition competitions during that period. Our athletes, like opera or ballet stars, plan their schedules not just for the next year but for two or three years ahead. We will invite top athletes from around the world. After all, communication between WTA and ATP players is crucial. You can find and read anything in the press and online, but personal interaction is the best. Therefore, I am confident that those who played with us last year and this year will share their experiences and describe the atmosphere. I think this information will help us invite new players, as well as those who played this year. Of course, our captains Anastasia Myskina, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Nikolay Davydenko, Janko Tipsarevic, and Evgeny Donskoy, who works with the press, have tremendous authority. Yanko Tipsarevic announced today that the winners and finalists of the junior tournament will have the opportunity to train for free at a very good academy in Belgrade. Both accommodation and coaching will be provided for free. The winners of last year's junior tournament visited this academy and were delighted. Tennis will continue to play a primary role, as will sports in general. The goal is to build bridges between people, not destroy them, which unfortunately we see in the Olympic movement. I am confident that in the end we will return to the principles laid down by Pierre de Coubertin.

- Do you have a tennis dream that you would like to make true in Saint Petersburg?
- Players from the top 10, both men and women, came and played here. Jannik Sinner got a big boost in his career, receiving a wild card right here in Saint Petersburg. I wish the time would come when the strongest players from all countries in the world, without exception, will come to us, and we will host a beautiful friendly tournament here.

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