by Simon Daish
Approaching his 21st birthday Kirill Gerassimenko is one of the brightest up-and-coming talents and is beginning to make his presence felt in the sport after earning a spot in the top 100 men’s world rankings positions as of November.
Now the young Kazakh competitor is set to compete in arguably the biggest event of his career to date, qualifying for the upcoming ITTF World Tour Grand Finals as a host nation representative.
Gerassimenko made history at the start of the year, becoming the first player from Kazakhstan to win an ITTF World Tour gold medal with his Under 21 Men’s Singles success at the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open in Budapest.
Another impressive outing came at the ITTF Challenge Series event held in Poland where Gerassimenko secured a semi-finals finish in the Men’s Singles tournament, losing out to the eventual champion Quadri Aruna.
Competing in the Men’s Singles category as the lowest ranked player Gerassimenko faces an uphill battle on his ITTF World Tour Grand Finals debut in Astana, but has shown in the past that he has the potential of causing an upset or two.
Gerassimenko earned a standout victory at last year’s Czech Open in a dramatic seven games encounter with Japan’s Kenta Matsudaira, who is also set to appear in Astana. One year on at the qualification tournament preceding the Seamaster 2017 ITTF World Tour Czech Open, the Kazakh star registered a shock win against Ricardo Walther of Germany.
The odds may not be in Kirill Gerassimenko’s favour but, with the backing of the home fans, who knows what the World no.98 might bring to the table in Astana?