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Kazakhstan's 'Second Sharapova' might play for United States in future

01 february 2013, 14:33
1

Young tennis professional from Kazakhstan Maria Shishkina is likely to play for the United States and not of Kazakhstan.

The young tennis professional often referred to as “the second Maria Sharapova” have been taking part in the ITF tournaments wearing Kazakhstan colors. Vesti.kz sports website approached Kazakhstan Tennis Federation to discuss the athletes future.

“Yes, we are aware of Shishkina,” Vice-President of Kazakhstan Tennis Federation Adil Burlibayev said. “She was born in Almaty and moved to the United States when she was six. She was training at Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. She comes from a sports family and she has already signed a contract with IMG Company that provides management services”.

Question: She is taking part in international tournaments wearing Kazakhstan colors...

Answer: She has got two passports: Kazakhstan and American passports at present. However, as far as I know she is going to play under the colors of the United States. It is too early to speak about this now, because she will need to decide when she is 18. Her mother told me that they had already become citizens of the United States and that they wanted to be caped for that country. Although I haven’t seen their American passports myself.

Photo courtesy of maria-shishkina.com

Photo courtesy of maria-shishkina.com

Question: Have you met Shishkina’s parents?

Answer: Yes, we tried to persuade them to play for Kazakhstan. But there were several issues. First of all they asked for a very big sum for Maria’s further sport development. In our opinion, it is too much. Secondly, they are putting the question very bristly: we either pay this money or they change their citizenship to the American one. There is no sense in continuing these negotiations if they are trying to bulldoze us. And there is one more thing.

Photo courtesy of maria-shishkina.com

Photo courtesy of maria-shishkina.com

Question: What thing?

Answer: Shishkina is still a junior player and she has to train and participate in tournaments. If she wants to turn professional, she will have to qualify for a senior degree and it is quite difficult and not every player manages to do it. Yes, we can invest a big sum of money into one person and, perhaps, we will get 'the second Sharapova', but we can also spend this money to train several juniors here in Kazakhstan and this way we will get professionals as well. The chances are equal and the chances are even higher if we have several juniors here in Kazakhstan.

Photo courtesy of maria-shishkina.com

Photo courtesy of maria-shishkina.com

Question: So, it is still unclear whether Shishkina will be caped for Kazakhstan or not?

Answer: Everything depends on her. If she wishes to play for Kazakhstan or if she calls for any help even now, our Federation is ready to work with her. We are open to negotiations with Maria and her parents.

Photo courtesy of maria-shishkina.com

Photo courtesy of maria-shishkina.com


Source Vesti.kz


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