Battlelines drawn for 12th edition of Tashkent Open. Romanian Dulgheru gets top billing , Local Star Amanmuradova gets second seed

18 September 2010

Issued by Tashkent Open 2010 Media Team
Tashkent, September 18: On her maiden visit to the Tashkent Open, Romania’s Alexandra Dulgheru has been named top-seed for the twelfth edition of Uzbekistan’s showpiece event that forms part of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour 2010.
Alexandra, the world No 27, thus becomes the first Romanian to be given the numero uno status for the tournament which gets underway at the Olympic Tennis School.
While Alexandra carries the hopes of emulating the feat of teammate S Cirstea, a title-winner in 2008, the big news for the home fans is that of Akgul Amanmuradova being named the No. 2 seed. Akgul – the flag bearer of Uzbek women’s tennis in this tournament – in the process will go into the tournament with her best seeding ever. In 2008, Akgul was the No 7 seed.
At the draws made today, Alexandra is expected to face her first major test in the second round when she runs into dark-horse India’s Sania Mirza. “I’ve got to get past the first before that. But yes she’s a tough competitor for sure,” Alexandra explained. Alexandra’s country woman No 5 seed Monica Niculescu, No. 4 Elena Vesnina (Russia) and No. 6 Magdelena Rybarikova (Slovakia) also feature in the top half of the draw.

Akgul, who comes into the tournament with big wins over Jelena Jankovic in the prequarterfinals at Cincinnati earlier this year, has a relatively easy opening and runs into a qualifier. Figuring in the lower-half of the draw is seventh seeded Alla Kudryavtseva, No. 3 Anna Chakvetadze and Italian Elena Maria Camerin.
Uzbek players Nigina Abduraimova, Sabina Sharipova and Alina Abdurakhimova have been awarded wild cards for the event. In the first round Nigina will take on Darya Kustova, Sabina has a tougher opener against sixth seed Magdalena Rybarikova, while Alina plays Stefanie Voegele of Switzerland in their respective first round matches.
Tournament Director S Uthrapathy and the WTA supervisor Martina Lutkova and Mr. Alisher Khamrakulov representing the Tashkent Mayor’s office conducted the draw at the Olympic Tennis School. Gracing the occasion was local favorite Nigina Abduraimova and top seeded Alexandra Dulgheru.
Speaking at today’s draw ceremony WTA Tour Supervisor Martina Lutkova said: “Over the years the tournament has grown in stature and that’s because both the City of Tashkent and the Uzbekistan Tennis Federation have worked towards improving it year after year. There is always scope for improving it further.”
This year the tournament has 6 players from the Top-100 in fray and 8 from the Top-125 bracket.
Tournament Director S Uthrapathy said: “This year we have in our midst the best-ranked top-seed (Alexandra) ever to be playing.” Adding that he hoped Alexandra wins and returns to defend her title he added, “as usual the Tashkent Open like the past has managed to piece together yet another interesting statistic to its ever growing popularity on the Tour.”
Top seed Alexandra said, “I’ll try to give my best. Winning is important but settling down in a tournament is equally important particularly after playing any Slam event.” Asked on the expectations of the possibility of repeating another Romanian victory, she added, “I’d like that for sure. I guess all Romanians would feel the same way.”

Following are the seeds
1. Alexandra Dulgheru (Romania);
2. Akgul Amanmuradova (Uzbekistan);
3. Anna Chakvetadze (Russia);
4. Elena Vesnina (Russia);
5. Monica Niculescu (Romania);
6. Magdalena Rybarikova (Slovakia);
7. Alla Kudryavtseva (Russia);
8. Elena Maria Camerin (Italy)