Nara shock for Top seed Pliskova as Tashkent Open Jinx Continues

27 September 2017

Tashkent , September 27 :   Defending Champion and  Top seed Kristyna Pliskova  crashed out  along with four other seeds   in the second round of  the  19th edition of Tashkent Open WTA Championships being played at the Olympic  tennis School in Tashkent

It was a bad day for the seeds as third seeded Tatjana Maria of Germany , fifth seeded 
Marketa Vondrousova of Czech Republic , seventh seed  Nao Hibino of Japan and eighth seeded  and Ekaterina Alexandrova of Japan made an exit from the singles event .
Second seeded Timea Babos of Hungary and sixth seeded Alexandra Krunic were  the only remaining seeds  in the singles draw.

Unheralded 109 ranked  Kurumi Nara of  Japan shocked  the world ranked 41 Pliskova 7-6(5),6-1 in 1 hour and 24  to record the biggest upset of the event  , Pliskova's second round loss also meant that   the “Tashkent Open Jinx" - : where no player in event’s 19-year run has won the title two times continues.

In the match which saw the biggest upset of the day Nara led 4-2 in the first set before Pliskova found her rhythm and crawled back to level scores and force a tiebreak , the second set was a cakewalk as Pliskova looked jaded and tired from a tough first round yesterday against Hsu Weih.

An elated Nara said: " I had to Lost to her last year at Tashkent and went into the match with a plan ,   I knew her game,  and returned well in the match ,She played better  midway in the match but I did well to hold her . I'm very happy with my win, also its my first quarterfinal of the year." 

Unseeded and 119 ranked Belorussian Aryna Sabalenka  upset 53 ranked and third seeded Tatjana Maria  of Germany    6-3,7-5 in a 1 hour 35 minute match.

In the best match of the day lasting 2 hours and 43 minutes 196 ranked Stefanie Voegele coming back from a six month injury lay off  ousted fifth seed fast rising Czech player  Marketa Vondrousova 7/6(8) 4/6 7/5 .

Speaking at the post match conference Swiss Miss Stephanie Voegele who missed out the first sixth months of the Tour due to wrist injury said "I expected a tough match; it was a close match with long rallies. Both of us played Very good points, it was a roller coaster match and being focused was important, I managed to keep my cool in pressure situations and got the desired result ".

Veteran Tour Pro Kateryna Bondarenko made full use of her experience  knocking out last year’s finalist and seventh seeded  Nao Hibino of Japan  6/4 7/5 in 1 hour 30 minutes Kateryna held on to her nerves at  the end of the  second set  even after missing out on 2 match points   to upset Hibino.

"I was happy to finish the match in two sets as I was getting tired   I started making more errors   and Nao started playing aggressively. I was serving  5-4  40-15  I got a little tired and lost the game and felt my momentum slipping , but I told myself that I had to win in two sets , the third set would have been a difficult situation ,  I stated playing better and stayed calm  and finished the match” said the tour veteran.

Last year's semifinalist Kateryna Kozlova  of Ukraine outplayed eighth seeded  Ekaterina Alexandrova of Russia  6/2 6/3 to move into the last eight.  Koslova who is playing her third quarter finals of the year after  Bastaad and Guangzhou.  "I Started well in the  match and that put pressure on my opponent , I  didn't   overdo  but  played a balanced game ,  Alexandrova increased the speed in the second set but I  knew i would get my chances, I returned really well today", said Kozlova after her win. 

Second seeded Timea Babos of Hungary took just over an Hour to register a 6/3 6/3 win over Czech player Denisa Allertova , sixth seeded Serbian  Aleksandra Krunic lost her script midway but recovered to stave off a challenge from Slovakian Jana Cepelova  winning  6/2 1/6 6/3. Former world No.2  and qualifier Vera Zvonareva kept   on course outclassing former winner here Pauline Parmentier of France  6/2 6/0

The quarterfinal line up for the singles

Kurumi Nara (JPN) v/s Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR)  , [Q] Vera Zvonareva (RUS)  v/s

[6] Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) ,  Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) v/s  Aryna Sabalenka (BLR)  ,

Stefanie Voegele (SUI)  vs [2] Timea Babos (HUN)

Following are the results ( Singles  Second Round)

Kurumi Nara (JPN)  bt  [1] Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 7/6(5) 6/1 

Kateryna Bondarenko (UKR) bt [7] Nao Hibino (JPN)  6/4 7/5

[Q] Vera Zvonareva (RUS)  bt  Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 6/2 6/0

[6] Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) bt Jana Cepelova (SVK) 6/2 1/6 6/3

Kateryna Kozlova (UKR) bt [8] Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 6/2 6/3

Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) bt  Tatjana Maria (GER)(3)  bt   6-3,7-5

Stefanie Voegele (SUI)  vs [5] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) 7/6(8) 4/6 7/5

[2] Timea Babos (HUN) vs Denisa Allertova (CZE)  6/3 6/3

Doubles First Round

[1] Timea Babos (HUN) / Andrea Hlavackova (CZE) vs Monique Adamczak (AUS) / Lizette Cabrera (AUS) 6/4 2/6 10/6

[4] Irina Khromacheva (RUS) / Ipek Soylu (TUR) vs Nicola Geuer (GER) / Eva Wacanno (NED) 7/6(4) 6/3

[3] Katery Bondarenko (UKR)  / Aleksandra Krunic (SRB) vs. Jana Cepelova (SVK) / Misa Eguchi (JPN) 6/3 6/0