23 September 2017

Czech Republic's  Kristyna Pliskova pounded  fifty aces in her five matches en route to the title   at the  WTA Tashkent Open 2016 , with her Powerful serves ,  consistent baseline line  rallying and all round game  Kristyna emerged winner   at Tashkent  the capital of Uzbekistan in 2016 . This result enabled her to jump over 100 places and  enter the  top 50 in world rankings  the best ever for  the  24-year-old Czech.

By becoming a champion Kristyna preserved a  tradition of the tournament where in the nineteen-year history of the WTA Tashkent Open   no player has managed to hold on  to the title twice in a row .

Champion of 2015 Japanese  Nao Hibino  started a favorite and looked like she would break the "secret rule"   reaching the finals . In the finals she  could not withstand the Pliskova pressure, in spite of fighting  and claiming the second set, but went down  6- 3, 2-6, 6- 3  .

Kristyna  was not among the seeds , but was considered one of the favorites , she   caused excitement even before she arrived for the event , because  her twin sister  Karolina Pliskova,  played sensationally at the US Open in New York  reaching the final   ,  this  involuntarily  put Kristyna in limelight giving her a psychological edge over  rivals.

Pliskova  unperturbed by all the attention she received from tennis lovers    played  her  best tennis , in the  first round she overcame a fighting  Spaniard  Sara Sorribes Tormo  .  She tamed the fifth seed  Japanese Kurumi Nara  in round two    Russian  Irina Khromacheva   in the quarterfinals and Ukrainian  Kateryna Kozlova in the semifinals and Nao Hibino in the finals.

Thanks to the successful performance  of Nao Hibino in 2015 , Tashkent Open has become a favorite stop  for the girls from the land of the rising sun.  Hiroko Kuwata, paired with  Uzbek player Nigina Abduraimova  to reach the semifinals of   doubles event .   In the quarterfinals the Uzbek-Japanese duo upset  top seeded  Kichinok sisters Lyudmila and Nadiia from Ukraine.  Local girl  Nigina Abduraimova was the Lone Uzbek player to record  a good result .

Sabina Sharipova who came into the main draw as a qualifier , young wildcard  Komola Umarova were unlucky and were eliminated in the first round of the singles  .  Arina Folts, Akgul Amanmuradova and Polina Merenkova could not get past their first round battles in   the doubles.

 Raluca Olaru (Romania) and Ipek Soylu (Turkey) were crowned  the new doubles champions . In the finals the fourth seeds Soylu and Olaru    scored a 7-5,6-3 win over third seeds Demi Schuurs of  Nederlands and Reneta Voracova of the Czech Republic . While it was the second title for Olaru here having won it in 2008 , it was the first ever WTA tour title for  Soylu who is considered one  the most beautiful sportswoman in Turkey .

I am glad to win the title with Raluca, - said   Soylu  . It  feels  like  home in Tashkent.   She added "  the friendly atmosphere, generous hospitality,  and interesting traditions like  Children’s Days , Players Party will bring me back here again. "

The Childrens Day  organized by the UTF provides young kids get a feel of tennis  for the first time and  then taking  home racquets as gifts continues to become popular event  every passing year . 

The VIP tournament for the sports journalists,  representatives of diplomatic missions, foreign companies, joint ventures and companies accredited in Uzbekistan  along with  the "Tashkent Open"   also has become a tradition  giving  a perfect opportunity to every stakeholder of  the event  to enjoy the sport of tennis .  These unique events  truly add  glamour to  Central Asia's only  event on the   WTA tour  .

Another  tradition that continues over the years  is the inventory distribution to the students of the Olympic Tennis School  , which was started in 2008 by the initiative of the  Uzbekistan's First President  Islam Karimov.

 " We would like to thank the  Uzbekistan Tennis Federation for their support and getting these high standard events to the republic "  said Samuk Abidov, the director of the school. -  The   school has excellent facilities. which included 17 courts with different surfaces, three indoor courts, for training in the winter , an own hotel,  dining room, rest rooms.

The Olympic School of Tennis houses  60 talented kids from all regions of the country who have  come through competitive selection tests  . Four educators, three instructors, and thirteen experienced mentors are  engaged in bringing out the best from the future tennis professionals.

Peter Lebed, captain of the men's national team of Uzbekistan, Omon Annakulov, Konstantin Tomashevich, Utkir Abdullayev are currently  working   with the brightest stars of tennis in Uzbekistan propelling them to the next level   Sanjar Fayziev, Timur Ismailov , Guzal Yusupova, Sarvinoz Saidkhodzhaeva are a few who have graduated as  members of the  national teams

Tashkent Open 2017 will surely provide an great opportunity  and a launch pad for many more  talented girls from Olympic tennis  school who will take part  ,  if not in the  main draw, then in qualifying, as   in previous years. which  too has become a tradition of sorts.