Interview of the day - NIGINA ABDURAIMOVA

19 September 2010


Tashkent, September 19: Sixteen-year old Nigina Abduraimova is Uzbekistan tennis’ GenNext poster girl. And the streets of Tashkent make it evident with life size flexes that dot the roadside to promote the Tashkent Open 2010 ensuring that one asks what she has achieved. For it is very well known around the WTA Tour that Akgul Amanmuradova is Uzbek tennis’ face.

With physical attributes – height and build – that suggest she’s way beyond her age, he imposing figure does suggest that she has a bright future ahead.

Having earned a wild-card for home event, the soft spoken Nigina, currently ranked No. 324, faces Belarus Darya Kustova in her opening singles encounter apart from pairing up with her country mate and Junior Fed Cup partner Sabina Sharipova in the doubles where they run into top-seeds Jill Craybus and Monia Niculescu.

After a great year on the junior circuit, Nigina had her first press interaction with the local journalists and the Tashkent Open Media Team (TOMT) where she was ever to willing to answer a volley of questions fired at her.


Q: You had a dream season in juniors, which include playing all the Grand Slams...

The season in no doubt was unforgettable (sighs). The experience of playing with the best at Slams will always be remembered. Moreover it was not just taking part that I look back on, but the levels one has to maintain to be amongst the best.

Q: Despite being a junior your WTA Tour ranks are quite impressive...

Honestly, I put in the hard work but also credit needs to go to the effort of coach Peter Lebd who has not only planned out my schedule for the year, but also put in the hours to make me look good after I started working with him at the Olympic Tennis School in Tashkent.

Q: What are your expectations at the Tashkent Open 2010 after earning your second consecutive wild card?

I will be trying my best to exploit home conditions. It is always pleasure to play in Uzbekistan. I will try my best to play good and try to improve on my 2009 performance. It’s tough I know, but then compared to last year I am better prepared and eager as well.

Q: Your feelings of representing the country in the Junior Fed Cup

Representing my country at any level is a huge responsibility. And doing well is part of that. When I play in the Fed Cup in Mexico, I will play to the best of my ability in order to keep up the name of my motherland.

Q: As an upcoming junior are there any plans of playing doubles as well. Do we see a long time partnership between you and your Fed Cup teammate Sabina Sharipova?

Yes we are of the same age, but barring the Fed Cup there are no plans and that is because botrh of us play different styles which don’t match for a long term doubles partnership.

Q: The Tashkent Open is one of the tournaments which is placed in the middle of the WTA Tour after the Grand Slams , what are your plans for next year?

As a junior I have restrictions to play on the women’s circuit. So given the opportunity I’ll make the best of every chance I get. Thus, during the year it will be playing more on the ITF Tour which is equally tough and serves as a learning curve before graduating to the women’s tour.