02/14/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/14/2020 05:16
A new era is dawning for tennis in Kazakhstan.
Dias Doskarayev, who oversaw 25 Fed Cup by BNP Paribas ties since taking over from Yurly Karlov in April 2013, has resigned as Kazakhstan's captain and will be replaced by Yaroslava Shvedova.
During his time in charge, Doskarayev compiled an impressive 15-10 record and also led the Davis Cup side since 2012, winning half of his 16 ties - Yuriy Schukin will take over from him in that position.
Having devoted so much of his life to these roles, Doskarayev can recall every tie in detail, and while he feels that it's time for new blood and fresh ideas, there is no doubt that he will be sad to step away.
'First of all it's been an honour. I would like to thank the President of the Federation, and also the players for trusting me and respecting me. I have no regrets about a thing. To play Davis Cup for your country and then be a captain, I think it's a dream for anyone.'
For Kazakhstan and Doskarayev, there was a cruel sense of déjà vu in Kortrijk. Having lost three World Group II play-off ties in six years under the old Fed Cup format, all away from home, they have now missed out on the chance to compete against the game's elite in Budapest as well.
'I just think it's frustrating', Doskarayev said. 'Our team prepared well and we had a good opportunity. Of course, we were playing a strong team in Belgium but it's the fourth time that we play away in these situations where we have the chance to pass to the next stage. But we lost and now it's a long way home. Hopefully the fifth time we can come back stronger.'
'But I have no regrets in terms of the efforts of my team. They played their hearts out. They kept believing. They kept fighting even when their maximum level wasn't quite there. But I have to give credit to the Belgian team. They played with courage on the big points and that's what made the difference.'
Comparing his time as captain of the two teams, Doskarayev commented that instilling a sense of belonging into the Fed Cup team had proved harder.
'In Fed Cup we've never been to a higher stage. In Davis Cup they were beating some good teams from the beginning, like Switzerland at home and the Czech Republic away. So with the guys it was easier - they were always underdogs but upsetting good teams.'
'With the women it's been different. We just haven't been able to upset a good team. And it kind of hurts your confidence. I keep telling the girls that if it takes losing 100 times to get the opportunity you need to win, then that's the way it is, that's the way life is.'
Shvedova, who will start as a playing captain for Kazakhstan's Fed Cup play-off against Argentina, inherits a team brimming with potential. Yulia Putintseva and Zarina Diyas are still in their mid-20s and the fast-rising World No. 25 Elena Rybakina will soon be eligible to compete in Fed Cup for Kazakhstan.
'When you have a long bench, it helps', Doskarayev noted. 'Rybakina will be a great addition and she will bring some value. Of course she will need some experience playing Fed Cup because it's a different dynamic and a different atmosphere. But her level is very good right now.'
'There are a lot of positives for our team. We will have a lot of opportunities to get to that next stage, it's just a matter of believing. So far, we've come up just short. But that's sport.'