Tashkent Open blossoms in Uzbek Autumn

24 September 2016

When autumn comes, I bloom anew;  The frost does wonders for my health;  Anew I fall in love with life's routine:  Betimes I'm soothed by dreams, betimes by hunger caught; The blood flows free and easy in my heart, Abrim with passion; once again, I'm happy, young -  Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin the famous Russian Poet

It's the time of the year when the markets are over laden with unique vegetables and fruits, and other agricultural products which are abundant gifts of nature to  Uzbekistan , it also marks the  gathering of cotton (white gold)

The warmth of the  people ,  the gift of nature , and beautiful weather  also marks the advent  of the  prominent sporting events in Central Asia the Tashkent Open

The premier international event of the Young and Vibrant Republic  turns a sweet  18 this year , the event which has thrown new stars on the world tennis  stage  will be played at the Olympic Tennis Complex at Tashkent  from September24- October 1 .

One of the most popular events on the WTA calender , the Tashkent Open has not only opened a floodgate of  opportunities for young tennis  stars on the world horizon , but it has also sent back players  with loads of love and pleasant  memories of the extraordinary Uzbek Hospitality .

Anastasia Myskina ,   Dinara Safina , Maria Kirlenko   Mikhila Krajicek ,  Sabine Lisicki , Marion Bartoli , Bojana Jovanovski , Karin Knapp  and current title holder Nao Hibino who all won the Tashkent Open have leaped to the next level in their careers

“ I'm  happy that   players love coming back to the Tashkent Open  , we have been consistently improving the event and the prize money and the player   facilities and the results are showing " says Igor Shepelov the  General Secretary of the Uzbek Tennis Federation .

“ We are  glad    that Tashkent open has made a contribution    to women's tennis  ,  and impacted the   careers of so many young players   , Tashkent Open is one of the events that has given wings and aspirations to unknown tennis players across the world and  a dream  to  fly high " he adds.

In the 2015 edition unknown Japanese  Nao Hibino   outplayed fancied Croatian Dona Vekic to secure her  first  ever WTA tour event capturing the  propelling her to 74 in the world   a jump of 43 places . " From then on it has been upward journey for Hibino who also made it to the Olympics at Rio".

It was second time unlucky for upcoming Tennis star Donna Vekic of Croatia who lost  in the finals   in 2012 and 2015,   "  Hopefully  I will  come back to Tashkent  and ensure  I will be  third time lucky " , said Vekic 

The formidable challenge thrown by country's  young stars Sabina Sharapova and Nigina Abduraimova in the last couple of years  and their exploits across the globe also caught the notice  of the tennis world   .   A number of  talented   Uzbek girls aspiring to be stars in their own right   is also on the rise. 

 Uzbekistan continues to be dominant player in Asian Tennis circles not only in terms of  a strong tennis circuit , but also having produced tennis players of world repute .

 Uzbek star Iroda Tulyaganova won the title in 2000 and finished runners-up in 2006 ,   Akgul Amanmuradova was unfortunate not to pocket the title inspite of reaching the finals twice in 2005 and 2009. A win by a Uzbek player in 2016 will be an icing on the cake for thousands of tennis fans in Uzbekistan .

The memories of their stay , the unparalleled hospitality and the abundance of love offered  by fans to Hundreds of women tennis players who have played  over the last 17 years in the beautiful and historical city of Tashkent goes on to ensure   Tashkent Open remains one  the most loved event on the WTA tour.