Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Andre Golubev was most-improved player of 2010.
Andre Golubev was most-improved player of 2010.
Christopher Pike Staff Photographer
Andre Golubev was most-improved player of 2010.

Caring Kazakhs are key for Russian-born Andre Golubev

The most-improved player of 2010 is excited about the future of tennis in Kazakhstan, a country he adopted in 2008 due to the apathy of Russian officials.

DUBAI // Andre Golubev is excited about the future of tennis in Kazakhstan, a country he adopted in 2008 due to the apathy of Russian officials.

Born in the industrial Russian city of Volzhsky to doctors Alexander and Marina, Golubev started playing tennis in the same city at the age of six.

The facilities, however, were not great, especially during the long winters. His parents decided to send the youngster to Germany when he turned 14 and he became a part of the Russian team.

A year later, he moved to Bra in Italy at the invitation of a friend, Igor Eremin, who lived there. Golubev, named ATP's most-improved player in 2010 when he climbed to world No 33, still lives and trains in Italy, but returned his Russian passport for Kazakh citizenship in 2008.

"It was an important decision for me," Golubev, 24, said after his 6-3, 6-2 win over Novak Djokovic's younger brother, Marko, in the first round of the Dubai Championships yesterday.

"The main thing was, when I played for Russia, I felt like nobody cares. It may sound a little strange, but I really like the tennis project in Kazakhstan.

"They are really interesting. Also the president of the [Kazakh] federation calls me often, asking, 'How are you? What do you feel? What you want to do?', asking if I need some help and everything.

"They are really keen on becoming a tennis nation. The Kazakhs in general invest a lot in sport now, so tennis also."

According to Golubev, the Kazakh tennis federation have built tennis schools in every region, with both indoor and outdoor courts.

The best from the youngsters - four boys and four girls - are then picked for a project called Team Kazakhstan, where they study in the mornings and practise tennis in the evenings.

Golubev enjoys visiting these schools and sharing his experience with the youngsters.

"We have classes with the youngsters or practice sessions, where they can see us play and we can teach them different things," Golubev said.

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Floyd Mayweather lands punches on trainer Nate Jones on Tuesday at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas ahead of his May 3 championship unification bout with Marcos Maidana. Ethan Miller / Getty Images / AFP / April 22, 2014

In pictures: Floyd Mayweather trains for Maidana fight

Images from earlier in the week as Floyd Mayweather trained at the Mayweather Boxing Club in Las Vegas ahead of his May 3 championship unification fight with Marcos Maidana.

 UAE rugby player Daniel Minks pushes against a Singapore tackler during Wednesday night’s Asian Five Nations Test. Sarah Dea / The National / April 23, 2014

UAE national rugby team needs to look within to raise standards

While domestic clubs like Jebel Ali Dragons and Abu Dhabi Harlequins find regional success, the UAE national side isn't benefitting from the talent pool in the country, writes Paul Radley.

 Ravindra Jadeja of Chennai Super Kings playing a shot in their Indian Premier League win over Rajasthan Royals at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. Jadeja scored 36 runs not out from 33 balls. Pawan Singh / The National / April 23, 2014

In pictures: Chennai Super Kings notch win behind do-everything Jadeja

Images from Wednesday night's Indian Premier League match in Dubai, where Ravindra Jadeja led Chennai Super Kings over Rajasthan Royals.

 Suresh Raina has scored 84 runs in three IPL matches so far this season for Chennai Super Kings. Ravindranatah K / The National

Suresh Raina has always been brightest in Chennai yellow

An enigmatic presence in India's line-up, writes Osman Samiuddin, Suresh Raina is at his freest, his easiest and his best with the IPL's Chennai Super Kings.

 Azzam crew member Luke Parkinson works on the new 65-foot carbon racing yacht during preparation for the Volvo Ocean Race. Courtesy Ian Roman / ADOR

A little calm after the storm for Azzam crew

Azzam skipper Ian Walker writes another monthly update ahead of the Volvo Ocean Race as his crew enjoy a 10-day break after some rough conditions following their delivery from the UK to Portugal.

 Singapore have nearly half the side in home-grown players and prefer not to be reliant on expatriates. Sarah Dea / The National / April 23, 2014

Asian Five Nations: Singapore ideal model for impatient UAE’s rugby federation

The UAE Rugby Federation are keen for their national team to have such heavy Emirati representation. They have a good template to follow.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National