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)
Date of Birth: 07 SEP 1984
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Height: 5’ 7 3/4" (1.72 m)
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