Why a visit to a hockey game reaffirms the belief in teamwork for Diyas

A visit to an ice hockey match in Nur-Sultan ahead of the inaugural WTA Astana Open which kicks off on Monday reaffirmed for Zarina Diyas her belief in the importance of teamwork.

Diyas has been a member of the Kazakhstan national team for a decade and firmly believes that the support of her coaches and teammates has been essential to her success on the WTA Tour.

The 27-year-old noted similar traits while attending an ice hockey game featuring Barys, the local Nur-Sultan team, with Astana Open seed Yulia Putintseva and Yaroslava Shvedova.

The world number 112 was delighted to have the opportunity to watch the match and was mesmerized by the pace and strength of the players involved.

“It’s my first time [at] hockey, ”said Diyas.“ Finally, it happened. I like this atmosphere and this energy. There is an uphill struggle and such active fans. [It is] very cool.”

“When I come to Astana next time and have some free time, I will definitely come and watch a game. I really enjoyed ice hockey.

Billie Jean King Cup teammates were honored in the ice hockey match ahead of an important week for Kazakh tennis.

Barys vice-president Arnur Alsherov gifted local stars with swimsuits with their last names engraved on the back.

Diyas is one of four Kazakh participants in the WTA 250 Astana Open led by Putintseva, who is aiming for his second touring title for this season.

She faces qualifier Anastasia Zakharova in her first round match. Putintseva drew Ekaterine Gorgodze on his way out in the first round.

Kazakh wildcards Anna Danilina and Zhibek Kulambayeva also intend to perform well in the first event of the WTA Tour to be held in Nur-Sultan.

But both have test first round matches.

Kulambayeva will face second seed Alison van Uytvanck, while Danilina has drawn Kristina Mladenovic.

Catherine J. Martinez