Daniil Medvedev, Felix Auger-Aliassime enjoy hit at Astana landmark | ATP Tour

That Astana open is an ATP 500 event played indoors at the National Tennis Center, but two of its top stars scored outdoors on Sunday.

But only for one day.

Daniel Medvedev and Felix Auger-Aliassimenumbers two and eight, traded leisurely punches as part of a pre-tournament activity atop the city’s famous Baiterek lookout tower.

Kazakhstan Tennis Federation President Bulat Utemuratov was in attendance and would have appreciated feedback from both players.

“They set up a full-size tennis court in the heart of the city, so it’s a big effort on their part to make everything nice,” said Auger-Aliassime, who had victories over the new world No. 1 Carlo Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic in consecutive weeks in September. “And I think it shows how much they have [had] attention to detail.

“From the moment we came here as players, they were really meticulous about every detail of the tournament. I’m glad we’re here and I’m glad we had the chance to play on this pitch.”

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Medvedev, last year US Open Champion recalled playing an ATP Challenger Tour event in Astana six years ago. At that time he was in 174th place and made it into the quarterfinals beaten Denis Istomin.

“I have to say I love Kazakhstan,” said Medvedev. “It comes very close to my culture. Here I can speak my language. I always enjoy coming back here and as Felix said, the tournament is doing a really great job.”

Auger-Aliassime, who hasn’t competed in Astana for the last two seasons when an ATP 250 was hosted there, was also impressed with the capital.

“Not too far from Europe but also from Asia so I think we have a mix of cultures and it’s a beautiful city,” said the Canadian.

Visitors to Astana often flock to the Baiterek, the lonely planet partially described as “a white lattice tower topped by a large glass sphere. This embodies a Kazakh legend in which the mythical bird Samruk lays a golden egg containing the secrets of human desires and happiness in a tall cottonwood tree, out of human reach.”

It extends 97 meters above the ground.

Who will fly the highest on the course this week remains to be seen.

Medvedev starts against Spain Albert Ramos Vinolas and Auger-Aliassime meets another Spaniard, Roberto Bautista Agut. Alcaraz and Djokovic are also part of the impressive field.

Medvedev and Auger-Aliassime have fought each other late in the game in the past Australian Open and US OpenMedvedev won both times.

They could duel again this week in the quarterfinals, with the stakes being higher than Sunday at Baiterek.

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