The 2012 Astana Challenger takes place this week with a huge pot of prize money and points at stake for the winner.
The city of Astana in Kazakhstan hosts one of July's most lucrative challengers. Challenger tournaments are graded by the total amount of prize money at stake and this week there's a total of 125K in the pot.
Last year Mikhail Kukushkin delighted his home fans by winning the title. Unfortunately Kukushkin is unable to compete this year as he's preparing for the Olympics but former world number 33 Andrey Golubev will be shouldering home hopes. Having won some big clay court titles at his peak (he won the ATP 500 Hamburg title a few years ago), Golubev has sunk without trace in the past couple of years and he'll be hoping to get back on track this week as third seed.
Germany's Cedrik-Marcel Stebe is the top seed this week. The world number 83 has had a tough year on the main tour and it's not surprising to see him moving back down to the challenger circuit to try and pick up some wins.
Experienced Slovak Karol Beck could be a dangerman in the bottom half of the draw. Beck used to be ranked inside the top 40 and helped his country reach a Davis Cup final at his peak and he was playing extremely well in Recanati last week.
And look out for India's Yuki Bhambri who was a very highly rated junior star a couple of years ago and could be a future top 100 player.