As the curtains unfold to herald the 16th edition of the Tashkent open and the main draw matches get underway the presence of five Ukrainian players cannot be missed. The presence and performances of Ukrainian players in spite of the current conditions prevailing in their country cannot be ignored.
The Tashkent Open Media Team spoke to Kichenok Sisters Lyudmyla and Nadiia about their journey and perspective as Ukrainian players on the tours.
Q. There is tension and war like situation in some parts of your nation it is heartwarming to see a high number of Ukrainian women players on the Tour?
Nadiia : Thank you very much for talking to us , it is the spirit of our people that is driving the players , we don't want war , we want peace , though we are far away from the areas of conflict there is tension in our hometown our people have become more patriotic .
Lyudmyla : We want to live in Ukraine , our people are our strength they give us players confidence to play and do better. Its true for all players from Ukraine, many of our players from the affected areas like Kateryna Kozlova wo is also playing in the event has moved out of the house from Donesk and continuing to play tennis
Q : It is creditable for Ukraine to have five players in a main draw in absence of any major tennis event in your country ?
A : Its true we had only one tournament in Donesk and that too is cancelled , but its great achievement for our players in spite of not having any ITF or major events , our players are improving without any system in place. It's all about fighting spirit , we are used to fighting against something or other and we are happy that such fighting spirit has come into all our sportspersons.
Q: How is been with you travelling with each other ?
Lyudmyla : I feel like that I have someone from my family all the time , its great to have company on the tour , where many players complain about loneliness , we are there for each other all the time , we help out each other on and off the court and have a lot o share
Nadiia: We're lucky to be sisters and be able to play and travel together , sometimes we are travelling separately but it's ok for a week , but more time than that I start missing my sister.
Q .Don't you fight like other siblings and what about rivalry amongst both of you ?
We both fight more on the court , than off it. Outside the court we don't even discuss tennis and share a lot . I think we understand each other very help , we help each other and keep motivating each other . we're happy that we are behind each other in times of need and have a lot of fun
Q. Your plans for future ?
Lyudmyla : We are on the tour for over four years now and have some happy and sad moments , but i want to improve my singles ranking and at least get near my best ranking of 100.
Nadiia : I feel the same too , and do not want to regret later I have not been able to nurture my talent .
Q Would the Kichenok Sisters do a la Bryan Bros in women's tennis ?Apart from the William Sisters , we are the only siblings on the tour and would like to be like the Bryan Bros in Men's doubles , we surely want to do well and will be happy if Kichenok Sisters get the same fame or even more, we will strive to make a mark for sure.
Date of Birth: 26 DEC 1997
Birthplace: Postojna, Slovenia
Height: 5’ 5" (1.68 m)
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