Kremlin Cup organizers keep wild cards for Russians
MOSCOW, October 5 (RIA Novosti) - Organizers of the Kremlin Cup 2005 international tennis tournament, set in Moscow for October 8-16, said they would award wild cards for the tournament to Russians, despite bids from foreign players.
The Russian Tennis Federation president and the tournament's Board of Directors Chairman Shamil Tarpishchev said organizers had proffered awarding wild cards for men's singles to Dmity Tursunov and Teimuraz Gabashvily, rather than to Australian Mark Phillipousis and Spain's Alberto Costa.
Yevgenia Linetskaya was also awarded a wild card for women's singles. Two wild cards, one for men's and one for women's singles, have yet to be awarded, Tarpishchev said.
Top tennis players will participate in the women's tournament, including Mariya Sharapova, ranked first in the world by the Women's Tennis Association, Tarpishchev said, adding that the tournament sought out more stars from men's tennis it would have had to pay extra for them.
"We gave up buying players since we decided the tournament is competitive as it is," he said. The total prize fund for the ladies' tournament is $1.3 million, whereas $1 million is on offer for the men.