Tashkent Open celebrates 20 glorious years

22 September 2018

Tashkent , September 22  : One of the most popular events on the Women's Tennis  Association  (WTA)  Tour the Tashkent Open will be celebrating 20 glorious years of tennis.  The event which has put many young stars in the world tennis orbit also enjoys a distinction of being probably the only WTA event in the world where no champion has been able to win the title twice.

As every year the ex champions  come back with the expectations to break the Jinx but none has succeeded . This year the event sees the return of three ex champions Irina Camelia Begu (2012), and Bojana Jovanovski ( 2013) and Nao Hibino(2015) who made it to the main draw by whisker

 In the twentieth year too  Avid tennis watchers , experts and fans across the globe fans will be kept guessing and await the final results next Saturday ,  Players from 16 countries will showcase their skills and fighting abilities to make the most of points which will help them to strengthen their foothold in the world of women's professional tennis at the beginning of the next year giving them leverage to spend time of their fitness and training without the pressure of points .

Tennis fans in Tashkent sand across the globe will be happy to see among the entry list former   world No 2 . Russian Vera Zvonareva who made it to the semifinals   starting the event  as an qualifier  and former world No 5 Eugenie Bouchard of Canada former runners up at Wimbledon (2014)  who might spoil the party for young tennis stars

 The local flavour will be lead by Sabina Sharipova who has moved to around top 120 in the WTA rankings who finds a spot in the main draw on strength of her ranking , while other local Uzbek players have the opportunity to feature in the main draw via wild cards

Last year It was   Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko who showed the will to win   and as a reward for hard work  reached  the finals .  Ranked 134th in the WTA ranking and Contrary to all predictions, she made a way to the finals. Many felt she was lucky but she went to prove that   Luck Favors the Brave 

On her way to the finals Kateryna outplayed Russian Anna Blinkova upset seventh seeded Nao Hibino and went on to surprise giant killer Kurumi Nara in close three  sets in a battle of nerves . In the semifinals  against former world No2  and qualifier Vera Zvonareva. , Kateryna won the first set and  raced to a 4-1 lead   as  Zvonareva's old injuries caught up with her and she conceded the match 

On the other side of the draw   second seeded Timea Babos who  came up trumps' won all four matches in two sets.  Ranked  45th in the    world rankings  Babos  was more energetic facing the   experienced Kateryna   looking forward for a well deserved title.

But the gritty and  fighting Kateryna Bondarenko of Ukraine upset  the second seeded      Babos 6-4,6-4 in 1 hour and 26 minutes

 The 19th edition was  a wet one , with players and the organizers having to take breaks because of   rain , but that failed to dampen the spirits of neither the players or the organizers who were prompt to ensure action returned to the courts.

Coming into the 20th year the  "Tashkent open"  the organizers of the current tournament have done everything possible to make the 20th, anniversary of the event  into  an   intriguing affair  which will   be remembered for a long time by tennis fans not only in Uzbekistan but across the Globe .