Kazakhstan Reign Supreme at ATF 12&U Central Asia Regional Qualifying

Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) Board Meeting in Astana on May (13-14)
Discussions Highlights & Synopsis

The ATF is pleased to announce that in its endeavor to help grow the sport and create opportunities for the players, especially the juniors, the premier tennis organisation has taken a few strides forward and the same was communicated to and discussed with the respected members of the Board in its latest meeting held in Astana, Kazakhstan on May 13-14.
Efforts have been made to revive communication channel with Grand Slam nations and considerable progress has been recorded. A major thrust has also been given to strike a partnership with countries from other Continents, which in the long run will help the players, the officials and the administrators at global level.
The members were apprised of the MoUs signed with Tennis Australia & in discussion with FFT and AELTC.
Following are the highlights:

NEW ATF LOGO AND ANTHEM
ATF’s journey in the last 60 years has been exciting, full of challenges. The endeavors of past administrators have now resulted into creating a platform from where the progress is set to pick up pace. Symbolising ATF’s strong will and forward-looking approach, we have launched a new logo, moving from RISING SUN to SHOOTING STAR.
Five lines of the star symbolise five regions and their upward flight reflects the common aspiration to reach the top. The gradient colour conveys the idea of unity, while the blue colour symbolizes professionalism and reliability.
ATF has also become the first tennis body to have its own anthem, which will now be played at the beginning and the conclusion of tournaments. Following is the link of ATF anthem.
https://www.asiantennis.com/about-atf/

LIVE SCORING AND STREAMING
In a significant move, the ATF has also launched its YouTube channel for the purpose of LIVE Streaming matches and providing LIVE Scores. The initial response – 50,000 views from 27 tournaments in March, April and the first half of May – is an indication that it indeed was the need of the hour. The Live Scoring and Live Streaming is also available on our website.

BOOST FOR JUNIORS: TOURNAMENTS AND TRAINING

A) EXPOSURE THOURGH ELITE TROPHY (U-14)
ATF will provide the top junior players from the Asian region to have first-hand experience of a Grand Slam venue by giving them an opportunity to compete in the EliteU14 Trophy, which will be played in the second week of Australian Open at Melbourne Park.
The region’s best five players, both boys and girls, will be picked for the event. The selection criteria will be fixed and communicated to all members’ nations.

B) 14&U WIMBLEDON EVENT AT WIMBLEDON
For the first time, two boys and as many girls from Asia will have the chance to compete at the 14&U Wimbledon event, which will unfold in the second week of the much-hallowed grass courts of the majestic Wimbledon Championships. A MoU is being signed with the AELTC for more Junior Development opportunities.

C) ROAD TO JUNIOR ROLAND GARROS WILD CARD SERIES


It was a matter of pride for the ATF when FFT approached it for enhancing the Junior Roland Garros Wild Card series 2024. The FFT wanted participation from the Asian players in the series which will offer the players an opportunity to compete at the 2024 Junior French Open.
For the purpose, two regional qualification events will be held in Japan. The qualifying event for the Western and Central Asian region will be held in week of August 5 in Kazakhstan while the players from East, South Asia and South East region will compete in China from August 12.
The winners from the qualifying event will get to compete in Japan, where wild cards for the junior French Open will be on offer. It certainly is a big boost for the U16 players from the region.

D) INCENTIVES FOR TOP U14, U16 PLAYERS
ATF understands the financial requirements of the players, especially on the junior circuit, and this it has decided to award development grant to players who wil finish in top three at the year-end. The top-ranked players (both boys and girls) will be awarded USD 2500 while second-placed players will get USD 1500 each. The third-ranked players will be given USD 1000 each.

D) TRAINING CAMP
ATF will conduct a four-day High performance training camp before the Asian Junior Championship. Ranking will form the basis of player selection with top-8 boys and girls at U14 level to be picked for the camp. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) will also support the camp by provindg strength and conditioning coaches.

CO-OPERATION WITH OTHER REGIONAL BODIES
The universal aim of the tennis administrators is to see the game and the players grow at the global level. ATF understands and advocates the need of co-operation with tennis bodies from other regions such as Europe, Africa, Oceania, COSAT, and COTTECC.
Sooner than later, MoUs will be signed with these organizations which will facilitate the exchange of coaches’ education programme, exchange of wild cards in tournaments and training of the players.

INTERCONTINENTAL EVENT FOR U12 PLAYERS
In a unique collaboration that will benefit the U12 players, five teams from Asia will compete in an 8-team Inter-Continental event that will be a permanent fixture. The other three teams will be from Australia, New Zealand and Oceania. The inaugural event will be hosted prior to the 60th anniversary of ATF AGM in Hong Kong.

REVIVAL OF ASIAN CHAMPIONSHIP
The Asian Championship was a key project of the ATF but somehow it went off the calendar in 2008. Its revival is one of the key targets of the Federation, going forward, because it can serve as a springboard, using which, both men and women players from Asia can jump into one of the big-ticket events – the Australian Open.
We can assure the member nations that the communication with Tennis Australia, in this regard, has made considerable progress and soon it will take a final shape soon.
The idea is to host Asian Championships, where the winners (men and women) will be awarded wild cards for the season’s first Major tournament. That will be a big boost and incentive for the players from the region, striving to compete at the big stage. An MoU has been signed with Tennis Australia though it remains a work in progress.
In the end, the ATF would like thank the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation, led by President Mr. Bulat Utemuratov, for gracious hospitality. All the members were treated and taken care of brilliantly. The hospitality was amazing and worth emulating.
The stay of all participants was comfortable, and a visit to the national museum only enhanced the experience of being in the beautiful country. The experience of the KTF Tennis Centre’s was extremely engaging and facilities are par excellence.

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