22 September 2010


TASHKENT: The ‘Players Party’ is one event that every contestant looks forward to when on tour. So, when the organizers of the WTA Tashkent Open had their party it was certainly an event that was not to be missed.

The organisors of the Tashkent Open , Uzbekistan Tennis Federation hosted the players welcome party at the garden of the sprawling Tashkent Palace Hotel – the official hotel of the tournament.

As usual the anxious players waiting to unwind put on their best party attires and did well to look at their ravishing best -- a sight that only pictures could tell more.

The garden side of the hotel was stunning. Tables were laid out in the typical dastarkhan way, which is typical across Central Asia and is considered very ‘traditional’.

The event began with the welcomes the Tournament Director S .Uthrapathy and by Secretary General of the Uzbekistan Tennis Federation, Igor Shepelov, who welcomed the players and thanked all sponsors for their support.

With official speeches done with it was time to party. But then before that it was surprise, surprise for Olga Savchuk, with the organizers making it a point to celebrate her 23th birthday.A cake and the all round chorus ‘Happy Birthday,’ was kind of a big surprise to Olga.

The invitation to join the floor found just two takers initially with Ksenia Palkina doing well in shaking her leg to various tunes. Olga joined Palkina, before the floor cleared for a group called Garem, who kept the crowd glued with various forms of dances that included Uzbek, Turkish, Spanish and Arabian.

The five-dance sequence by the Garem group meant way for the dance floor opening up to the players. And that’s what they were waiting for. From ‘We Like To Party’ to Punjabi bhangra to a host of other English hits, the players just kept letting their hair loose.

Ekaterina Bychkova seemed to love the occasion and was perhaps the only player who danced from the first song to the last. Alexandra Dulgheru was a hit when she forced the floor to clear itself as she replicated Michael Jackson, replete with the moon walk and all.

Agkul Amanmuradova was in her elements during all Uzbek songs sung, while many felt that the upcoming dancer of the day was Arina Rodionova. “She’s got the moves,” came the chorus.

All in all this was one beautiful evening that was hard to forget.