Kuzmova is top seed at 21st Tashkent Open six ex champions return

22 September, 11:56

 By  Sunder Iyer , Tashkent Open Media Team.

Tashkent ,  September 21 : World  ranked 53  Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia has been given the pride of  seeding at the 21st edition of the Tashkent Open  which gets underway at the  Olympic School   Tennis Complex in the capital city of Uzbekistan.

Kuzmova will be making her debut at the Tashkent Open , last year's winner Margarita Gasparyan of Russia  playing here for the third time will be  No.2 seed  Alison Van Uytvanck  of Begium  also making her debut,  will be the third seed while former world no 5  Latvian   Jelena Ostapenko   who has played in Tashkent twice before   will be seeded fourth  , Other seeds are   Kristyna Pliskova ( 81 Cze) , Tatjana Maria (86 Ger) ,  Timea Babos (92 Hun) ,   Sorana Cirstea (95 Rou)

Six ex champions return in pursuit of  breaking the Tashkent Open  jinx        Margarita Gasparyan alongside  other champions  Kateryna Bondarenko, Kristyna Pliskova, Irina Camelia Begu, Sorana Cirstea, and Pauline Parmentier feature in the  main draw 

 Anna Kalinksaya,  who recently scored the biggest win of her career defeating Sloane Stephens at the first round of the US Open, as a qualifier  will be the player to watch out for while Kateryna Bondarenko returns back to the Tour after her second maternity break

The organizers today announced wildcards to the top 3 Uzbek girls Sabina Sharipova , Akgul Amanmuradova  and  Nigina Abduraimova  who played pivotal role in  taking Uzbekistan to Group 1 in the Asia Ocenia Fed Cup earlier this year

Top seed  Kuzmova wll take on Francesca Di Lorenzo of USA in the opening round ,  she has been drawn in the quarter of  fifth seeded Kristyna Pliskova  , second seeded Gasparyan has been drawn to take on Swiss player Stefanie Voegele and will be clashing with Sorana Cirstea  in the quarterfinals , third seed   Alison Van Uytvanck  has been drawn to take on Timea Babos in the quarterfinal while  Jelena Ostapenko is drawn to take on  Tatjana Maria  in her quarter if seeds move up without hiccups.

The  Local girl  Sabina Sharipova has been drawn against    Danka Kovinic  in the opener ,    another Uzbek player Nigina Abduraimova   meets Romania's Monica Niculescu while the oldest player of the tournament Akgul Amanmuradova  will take on Ysaline Bonaventure of  Belgium  

The event this year will feature players from  14 countries  which include Belgium (4) , Romania (3) Russia (3), ,Czech Republic (2) ,  Switzerland (2) ,France (1) , Germany (1) , Italy (1) , Latvia (1) , Montenegro (1) , Serbia (1) , Slovakia (1) , Ukraine (1) and hosts  Uzbekistan (3)

 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 21st  edition of the Tashkent Open were made here by  WTA  Supervisor Martina Lutkova   , Iroda Tulyagonova General secretary of UTF Valera Lim Tournament Director , Andrey Kornilov Referee along with local stars Sabina Sharipova , Akgul Amanmuradova and Nigina Abduraimova

Speaking on the draw  WTA Supervisor   Martina Lutkova Said that       Tashkent Open continues to be favorite  amongst players as many of them come back year after year , the return of six ex champions says a lot .    WTA appreciates the efforts Uzbekistan tennis Federation (UTF)  and the Tashkent Open   one of the oldest running events on the WTA tour". she added.


Speaking at the draw the trio of Abduraimova, Amanmuradova , and Sharipova said that the tournament being played on their home grounds is a boon for them and they were happy to play at home and promised to give their best and good results .

Former Champion here and now the General Secretary of the UTF Iroda Tulyagonova said that the she termed  the event as a tennis festival for players from across the globe and  said the federation has left no stone unturned to ensure a  successful event  like every year ".

 Following are the seeds : Viktoria Kuzmova (53 Svk) ,  Margarita Gasparyan (56 Rus) ,  Alison Van Uytvanck (62,Bel ), Jelena Ostapenko ( 74 Lat)  , Kristyna Pliskova ( 81 Cze) , Tatjana Maria (86 Ger) ,  Timea Babos (92 Hun) ,   Sorana Cirstea (95 Rou)