By Sunder Iyer , Tashkent Open 2018 Media Team.
Tashkent , September 23 : It will be clash of generations as the older stars will clash with NextGen tennis stars at the 20th Tashkent Open WTA Championships which gets underway at the Olympic Tennis Complex here on Monday.
Former world No2 Vera Zvonareva of Russia and former world No5 Eugenie Bouchard of Canada will add strength to the competition which will be led by World No 55 and Champion here in 2012 Irina Camelia Begu of Romania and followed by Belarusian Vera Lapko and Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia.
The other seeds include Swiss girl Stefanie Voegele(4), Germany's Tatjana Maria(5), Slovakia's Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (6), Russia's Evgeniya Rodina (7) and Slovenia's Dalila Jakupovic (8).
The Next Gen stars will be led by 17-year-old Olga Danilovic of Serbia who pulled off a historic win to claim her maiden WTA title at the Moscow River Cup, 2016 Junior Wimbledon champion Anastasia Potapova who is expected to make it to the main draw from the qualifying are expected to make their point at the tournament which has thrown up new champions every year.
Former winner here Begu who won her last singles title at Bucharest in 2017 and been in the top three rankings for the last 5 years will try to go all out in a bid to win her first singles title of 2018 and also trying to overcome the Tashkent Jinx .
In the opening round top seeded Begu will take on Ukraine's Kateryna Kozlova while second seeded Lapko will take on former winner here Bojana Petrovic Jovanovski of Serbia . Third seeded Tamara Zidansek will have a battle on hands as she takes on Vera Zvonareva in the opener , Another former winner here Nao Hibino of Japan will take on Eugenie Bouchard in the other first round match .
The local interest will be centered around Local girl Sabina Sharipova who made it to the main draw on her ranking strength Sharipova will calsh with Russian Margarita Gasparyan in the opening rounds , another Uzbek player Nigina Abduraimova who has been awarded a wild card will meet Germany's Mona Barthel .
Players from 16 countries will be Represented in main draw with Russia having the largest contingent of 5 players each , 3 players from Japan , 2 each from Slovenia ,Germany , Ukraine and hosts Uzbekistan .
France, Croatia, Canada , Switzerland , Serbia Netherlands, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Belarus and are the other countries which will have their participation
The Singles Winner will gain $43000 and 280 WTA points , while the finalist up will get $21400 and 180 WTA points , Doubles winners will get $12300
The draws for the 20th edition of the Tashkent Open were made here by WTA Supervisor Cristina Romero , Valeriy Lim Tournament Director , Andrey Kornilov Referee along with local star Sabina Sharipova
Speaking on the draw WTA Supervisor Cristina Romero Complimented the Tashkent Open for celebrating 20 years and termed as one of the popular events with players on the WTA tour ." WTA appreciates the efforts Uzbekistan tennis Federation (UTF) and the Tashkent Open one of the oldest running events on the WTA tour". she added.
Following are the seeds :1. Irina Camelia Begu (55 ,Rou ) 2. Vera Lapko (66, Blr) 3 Tamara Zidansek (72, Slo) , 4. Stefanie Voegele(73,Sui ), 5. Tatjana Maria(74, Ger ), 6. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (79 , Svk ),7. Evgeniya Rodina (84,Rus) 8. Dalila Jakupovic (89 Slo ).
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